Interpretation Instructions to Authors

Editorial policy Manuscript preparation
Page charges Preparation of illustrations
Hybrid open access Review and editing procedures
Resources for writing Contributing to the Pitfalls series
Organization of a scientific paper Contributing to the Tools, Techniques, and Tutorials section
How to submit a manuscript Schedules for special sections/supplements
Submission, review, and online publication of essential multimedia files Interpretation manuscript types and subject headings

Editorial Policy

Interpretation is a peer-reviewed journal for advancing the practice of subsurface interpretation. While many activities of geoscientists routinely require judgment, interpretation here specifically refers to conceptualization of the subsurface by an interpreter with incomplete information and a-priori knowledge. An interpreter evaluates alternative subsurface models consistent with available data and selects the most plausible geophysical and geologic scenarios by following scientific methods.

Read the rest of the Editorial Policy here.

Page charges
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To support the high cost of scholarly publication, technical papers usually incur page charges, either voluntary or mandatory or both. Publication decisions are independent of authors' elections regarding voluntary charges. It is important, nonetheless, that authors consider paying voluntary charges if it is within their means (including their employers' or other funders' means to do so).

The journal shall assess SEG and AAPG member authors mandatory page charges of $150 for the 13th and each subsequent typeset page. The mandatory charge for excess pages shall be $200 per page for nonmember authors. Authors shall be asked to pay voluntary charges of $100 per page for the first 12 pages. Authors shall not be assessed mandatory color charges but shall be asked to pay $450 per color page voluntarily.

The exact number of pages in an article cannot be confirmed until shortly before printing. However, a reasonable estimate is the number of words in the text divided by 1000 plus 35% of the number of figures and tables. Billing will take place after composition of the paper is complete. No charges are assessed if a submitted manuscript is not published.

In addition to these charges, there may be charges for changes requested in the typeset proofs that alter the text or figures in the accepted manuscript. The SEG Publications Department staff will determine such charges from the proofs that reflect the changes.

It is SEG's policy to suspend publication privileges of any author who has a past-due account with the Society.

Hardship relief

SEG levies page charges from authors to help offset production expenses. Yet the Society does not intend for these charges to prevent any author from publishing in the journal. SEG expects that all authors with the personal, research-grant, or institutional resources to pay voluntary and mandatory page and color charges will do so. Authors who have insufficient resources to pay mandatory charges should send a request for hardship relief from some or all charges to the Interpretation Editor and the SEG Publications Director simultaneously if they can answer yes or N/A (not applicable) to the following questions:

  1. Is at least one author an SEG or AAPG member?
  2. If the paper is projected to be more than 12 pages in length, would shortening it to 12 or fewer pages unduly compromise the quality of the technical communication?

Those seeking hardship relief should request it at the time their paper is accepted for publication, providing specifics about the paper as it relates to the questions above and indicating the degree of ability to pay normal charges.

Hybrid open access
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Authors of papers accepted for publication in an SEG journal may elect to have their papers made freely accessible indefinitely in SEG's online archives by paying an open-access fee of US$2,500. Authors must have paid all mandatory and voluntary page and color charges to qualify for open-access publication.

Resources for writing
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Write to inform. Before beginning to write, organize your material carefully. Include all the data necessary to support your conclusions.

Choose the active voice more often than the passive. The passive usually requires more words and sometimes obscures the meaning. Use the first person, not the third person; for single-author papers, the usage of I is preferred, but we will be accepted as well.

Prepare a first draft that includes all the data, arguments, and conclusions that you had planned to cover. Then edit your manuscript carefully. Ask yourself whether the reader will find the text clear and the figures thoroughly integrated with the text. Go through this process at least twice, preparing a new draft each time.

When you are satisfied, ask a colleague — preferably someone not well acquainted with the subject matter — to read your draft. Be prepared for criticism. If one reader does not understand parts of your text, others will have the same problem. Remember, you are thoroughly acquainted with your subject, but your reader is not.

How To Write and Publish a Scientific Paper, sixth edition (2006, Greenwood Press), by Robert A. Day and Barbara Gastel, is a useful guide for preparing and organizing a technical paper.

For details on style and usage, such as capitalization, punctuation, etc., refer to the University of Chicago Press' The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition.

The dictionaries you should use are Webster's Third New International Dictionary and Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition.

The Encyclopedic Dictionary of Applied Geophysics, fourth edition, by R. E. Sheriff, is SEG's standard for terms particular to geophysical technology. It also contains the preferred SI units and abbreviations for units. Revised versions of the fourth edition were published in 2006 and 2011.

Organization of a scientific paper
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Download a Word template to help you format your manuscript for submission.

A scientific paper can be divided into sections: title, abstract, introduction, methods, results, suggestions for further study, conclusion, acknowledgments, appendices, and references. There is some flexibility in the number of sections and the labeling of these components. The title and section labels should be chosen to convey the unity and cohesiveness of the presentation.

Title page

The title is a label, not a sentence. Choose as few words as possible for the title to reflect the thesis of the paper. The first word should be significant and helpful both for classifying and indexing the paper. Company names should not be included in the title. If the title is longer than 38 characters, you must provide (on the title page of the paper) a shortened form of 38 characters or fewer to appear as a running head above alternate pages of the published paper.

List the authors on the title page by full names whenever possible. Please be absolutely sure you have spelled your coauthors' names correctly. Be sure also to use the form of the names that your coauthors prefer. Include only those who take intellectual responsibility for the work being reported, and exclude those who have been involved only peripherally. The author list should not be used in lieu of an acknowledgments section.

On the title page, also include the authors' affiliations, including e-mail addresses, and the dates of submission of the original paper and of the revised paper.

Abstract

Every manuscript other than a discussion must be accompanied by an abstract of no more than one short paragraph (200 to 300 words). The abstract should be self-contained. No references, figures, tables, or equations are allowed in an abstract. Use only terminology that has been defined or is well known from prior publications. The abstract must not simply list the topics covered in the paper but should (1) state the scope and principal objectives of the work, (2) describe the methods used, (3) summarize the results, and (4) state the principal conclusions. Do not refer to the paper itself in the abstract. For example, do not say, "In this paper, we will discuss…"

The abstract must stand alone as a very short version of the paper rather than as a description of the contents. Remember that the abstract will be the most widely read portion of the paper. Various groups throughout the world publish abstracts of Interpretation papers. Readers and occasionally even reviewers may be influenced by the abstract to the point of final judgment before the body of the paper is read.

Introduction

The purpose of the introduction is to tell readers why they should want to read what follows the introduction. This section should provide sufficient background information to allow readers to understand the context and significance of the problem. This does not mean, however, that authors should use the introduction to rederive established results or to indulge in other needless repetition. The introduction should (1) present the nature and scope of the work; (2) review the pertinent literature and establish the terminologies and notations; (3) state the objectives; and (4) provide a brief overview of the methodology and results to highlight the contribution.

For additional guidelines, see J. F. Claerbout, 1991, "A scrutiny of the introduction," The Leading Edge, 10, 39.

Methods

The methodology employed in the work should be described in sufficient detail so that the intended readers could duplicate the results. The major steps should be described in the main body of the presentation and should convey main principles and insights. Lower level details (e.g., heavy mathematics) often are best placed in appendices to avoid cluttering the flow of the main ideas.

Results

Selective presentation of results is important. Redundancy should be avoided, and results of minor variations on the principal experiment should be summarized rather than included. Details appearing in figure captions and table heads should not be restated in the text.

Suggestions for further study

During the course of the work, the authors may have developed many insights and ideas for further study. Both the authors and reviewers may also have recognized some weaknesses in the paper. A paper is strengthened if its technical flaws are identified by the authors instead of the readers. In this section, if not elsewhere already, new ideas for expanding the work can be put forward, technical weaknesses of the work can be enumerated, and remedies of such weaknesses can be proposed.  This might be an important section for geosciences students who have less frequent exposure to real data or problems.

Conclusion

The conclusion section should include (1) principles, relationships, and generalizations inferred from the results (but not a restatement or summary of the results); (2) any exceptions to or problems with those principles, relationships, and generalizations, as indicated by the results; (3) agreements or disagreements with previously published work; and (4) implications and significance of the work. The conclusion should not include figures, tables, equations, or reference citations.

Figures and tables

Each figure and table must be called out (mentioned) sequentially in the text of the paper. Each figure must have a caption, and each table must have a heading. Captions, headings, and annotations should be concise and sufficient for the reader to understand the significance of the illustration or table without reference to the text.

Each illustration and table should be indexed sequentially by an Arabic number in the order of its first citation in the text. In the caption and text, spell out the word Figure and capitalize it when a number follows it. In table headings and text, spell out the word Table and capitalize it when a number follows it.

Footnotes

Footnotes should be avoided if possible. All footnotes introduced in the text of a paper should be numbered consecutively from beginning of the manuscript, including the footnotes for the author affiliations. In the manuscript, each footnote must be inserted at the bottom of the page where the notes appear.

Acknowledgments

If the author includes an acknowledgments section, it is placed after the conclusion and before the appendices (if any) and reference list.

Appendices

An appendix should not be cited in the text in such a way that the appendix is essential to a reader's understanding of the flow of the main text. See section 1.57 in The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, for further explanation of the content of an appendix. Each appendix should be called out (mentioned) sequentially in the text of the paper by name, i.e., "Appendix A."

Each appendix should have a label such as "Appendix A" on the first line and a subtitle such as "Mathematical Considerations" on the second line. In each appendix, number equations and figures beginning with 1: A-1, B-1, etc.

Appendices are placed after acknowledgments and before the reference list.

Reference list

The reference list is placed last in a manuscript, after the acknowledgments and appendices (if any). See the "References" section under "Manuscript Preparation" below for details on reference style.

How to submit a manuscript
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Papers submitted to Interpretation should meet the requirements detailed in this guide. If certain requirements are not met, a paper may be prevented from being accepted for review. Papers most likely to be delayed include those not submitted in double-spaced format and those written in poor English. In such cases, the paper will not be reviewed until the necessary basic requirements are satisfied. To facilitate processing and review, authors are urged to read and follow the procedures described below.

Checklist before submission

  • Is the entire paper double-spaced?
  • Are all pages numbered?
  • Have I followed the requirements for the abstract?
  • Have I followed the style instructions for the reference list?
  • Have I followed the instructions for labeling figures?
  • Have I properly numbered equations and followed style guidelines for vectors, matrices, and tensors?

Electronic submission of manuscripts

Manuscripts should be submitted online at https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/interpretation.

Interpretation uses the ScholarOne Manuscripts system for online submission, peer review, and tracking. During the review process, authors use the online system to check paper status, communicate with editors, and submit revisions. To check the status of a submitted manuscript, authors should check the "Author Center" at https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/interpretation. If necessary, authors may e-mail interpretation@seg.org to contact members of the Publications Department of the SEG Business Office.

Prepare the manuscript by following these instructions carefully, and save the text of the manuscript in one PDF, PostScript, or Microsoft Word file. Figures may be submitted as TIFF, EPS, or Word files. (Figures submitted in Word, however, are allowed for reviewing purposes only. If the paper is accepted for publication, TIFF or EPS files at a resolution of at least 300 dpi will be required for production.)

Log on at https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/interpretation. On the right side of the screen, click "User Tutorials" to obtain the "Author's Quickstart Guide," tips for uploading files in ScholarOne Manuscripts, and other online help for uploading to the system.

When you are ready to upload your manuscript files, enter your "Author Center." Click on "Click here to submit a new manuscript," enter the data required, and follow the steps for submitting a manuscript. Be sure to click "Submit" when you finish uploading the files and have previewed the PDF file. When you have completed the uploading process successfully, you will see a confirmation screen that includes the manuscript ID number assigned to your submission. You also will receive an e-mail confirmation within a day, to be saved for future reference.

If you need additional help, click the "Get help now" button in the upper right corner. This link brings up a new window that contains instructions, answers to frequently asked questions, and a method to send a question to the ScholarOne Manuscripts support team. If necessary, e-mail interpretation@seg.org to contact a member of the SEG staff, but first you should contact the ScholarOne Manuscripts support team for assistance.

Authors are requested not to address the editor-in-chief or associate editors directly unless the communication is of a personal or technical nature or is an appeal. Routine communications are handled more efficiently electronically through the peer-review system or the SEG Business Office.

After a paper has been reviewed, accepted, edited, composed, and proofread, it will be published online in advance of print publication.

NOTE: Please bear in mind that the online version of your paper is not another version of the author proof or an opportunity for the author to revise the paper. The online PDF version is the version of record. It is an exact representation of the version that was approved for publication in print. Changes in the online or printed version should be limited to factual or typographical errors serious enough to warrant publication of an erratum. Changes in the online version can result in the paper being withdrawn temporarily from the online site.

Acceptable forms of the manuscript

Manuscripts reviewed online are circulated as PDF documents, although the original files also can be viewed by referees. Authors should submit the manuscript text as a single document in PDF, PostScript, or Microsoft Word. Figures may be submitted as TIFF, EPS, or Word files. (Figures submitted in Word are allowed for reviewing purposes only. If the paper is accepted for publication, TIFF or EPS files at a resolution of at least 300 dpi will be required for production.) The online-submission software automatically combines the Word document with the figure files to create a single PDF file. Creating high-quality PostScript and PDF files from LaTeX files can be problematic. Suggestions written for Geophysics papers also are applicable to Interpretation papers and can be found on the SEG website.

Once a paper is approved for publication, the author is required to upload the final document (and the completed publication forms) through the "Author Center". The publication forms are located on SEG's website. Please complete the forms, scan them, and upload them to the system. If necessary, you may fax the forms to 1-918-497-5557. The paper is not considered accepted until the final documents are uploaded and the figures are approved by the image-quality check in the online system.

Accepted manuscripts are located under "Manuscripts accepted for First Look" in the "Author Center." The authors will click the "Submit updated manuscript" link to update data as needed and upload final documents. When submitting final documents, please check the following:

  • Are author names and affiliations on the title page of the paper correct and listed exactly as they should be published?
  • Do figures meet resolution requirements of at least 300 dpi?
  • Are figure files named with the correct figure numbers (Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.)?
  • Have you submitted all figures in the color space in which you expect them to be published? For color figures, RGB (red-green-blue) is accepted, but CMYK (cyan-magenta-yellow-black) is preferred. The production vendor will convert RGB to CMYK, but authors should be careful when referring to colors in the text because shifts can occur during conversion. For grayscale figures, upload grayscale files.
  • Is the manuscript void of linking or highlighting as required?
  • If you are uploading TIFF files, have you enabled LZW compression while saving?

Preferred formats for production are Microsoft Word and LaTeX, in that order. The preferred math program for Word papers is MathType 5.1 or greater.If you do submit a paper in LaTeX, please use the updated SEG/TeX macro. If using BibTeX to create references, authors must run BibTeX before submitting the .tex file and read in or paste the resulting contents of the generated .bbl file within the bibliography section of the .tex file. All LaTeX manuscripts must include the .tex file and a PDF generated by that file. For LaTeX papers, note that uploaded figures must be the complete, final figures including any annotation added within LaTeX or another application.

When submitting your final files, please identify software used.

Submission, review, and online publication of essential multimedia files
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Interpretation authors may submit movie, sound, and other types of ancillary files for publication along with the manuscripts they are intended to augment. These files should be uploaded to the online peer-review system along with the manuscript. A note accompanying the submission should indicate that an ancillary file has been submitted for review with the intention that it be published online with the paper. If the manuscript and the ancillary file are accepted for publication, the file will be published online in conjunction with the paper.

Essential multimedia

Essential multimedia files are peer-reviewed and are considered to be necessary to an article to support the science presented in the article. In addition, it is believed that a complete understanding of the article is not possible without viewing or hearing the multimedia file. Because of this, essential multimedia files must be archived with the article and are therefore subject to a set of policies and procedures designed to ensure the archival integrity of these files.

When preparing multimedia files as essential multimedia, authors need to understand that for proper archiving, limitations must be placed on the types of files that can be submitted with the manuscript. Acceptable essential multimedia files can be QuickTime Nonstreaming, MPEG, or DV files. AVI files are not acceptable at this time as essential archival multimedia files. Detailed information is provided below.

Video submissions

Interpretation accepts video submitted only as digital files. Acceptable file formats include QuickTime Nonstreaming (.qt or .mov), MPEG (.mpg), and DV (.dv). The preferred formats are .mov and .mpg. Details about each of these file formats are outlined below.

Video files should be named [filename.xxx].

In addition, a representative "still" image taken from the video is required for use as a placeholder for the video file in PDFs and print. This still image is not intended to convey meaning about the content of the video; rather, it will be used as a static representation of the video file. Care should be taken to extract an image from the video which has reasonable clarity of fine lines and details. Acceptable file formats for still images are EPS (.eps), and TIFF (.tif). Still images should be named [filename.xxx].

Important note about AVI (.avi) video files: Multimedia files typically are created and encoded in a compressed format. Many of the compression algorithms used to create AVI files are proprietary and result in files that do not pass archival policies and procedures of SEG's online publications host. At present, AVI video files are not considered acceptable for essential multimedia because they do not pass the platform's archival tests. Most applications offer the option of saving multimedia in a variety of formats. When saving a video file, authors should use the "Save as…" option and select .qt, .mpg, .mov, or .dv as the file type.

Audio submissions

Interpretation also accepts digital audio files as essential multimedia. Acceptable file formats include PCM (.pcm), WAV (.wav), AIFF (.aif), and MP3 (.mp3) at 128 KB or greater. Audio files should be named [filename.xxx].

General guidelines for all multimedia submissions

At this time, the online journal platform on which Interpretation is published has not specified a maximum file size for submission; however, authors are strongly encouraged to adhere to the following guidelines when they prepare their files:

  • The acceptable file formats outlined above are playable using standard media players such as QuickTime and Windows Media Player. Media players should be used to check file properties and image/sound quality prior to submission. Fonts, lines, and image details in video submission should be of sufficient size and weight to be visible when played at half size.
  • Attention should be paid to the file size to make download time reasonable because streaming formats are not acceptable for submission at this time. A recommended target size for each multimedia file is 3–5 MB.
  • Authors are encouraged to use one of the accepted compression codecs to minimize file sizes.
  • Animations must be formatted into a standard video file.

Metadata

When you submit your media file, you will be asked for some information about it. You will be required to submit a caption or description of the content of the media file. This is similar to a typical figure caption. You are invited to submit optional metadata, as outlined in the table below. Please submit a table with this information along with each submitted media file.

Metadata elements

Name

 

Description

Caption/description

 

Textual caption/description of the content of media object.
Required.

Type

 

The nature or genre of the content of the media, such as video or audio. Optional.

 

Format

 

This should describe the media file type, such as Quicktime, DV, MPEG, PCM, or WAV. Optional.

Duration

 

This is the duration of the media-object playing time, in the unit of seconds. It is applicable to video or audio media. Optional.

Frame size

 

For video only (not still images), the size of the video image, as height xwidth in pixels. Optional.

Producer

 

Information about the software used to create the media object. It should include the name and version of the software (e.g., Adobe Premiere Elements v. 2.0). Optional.

Multimedia detailed specifications

Acceptable essential multimedia video file formats

QuickTime nonstreaming (.qt or .mov)

24-bit (millions) color
video compressor/codec
uncompressed/none
animation
motion JPG (MJPG)
DV (NTSC)
DV (PAL)
audio
48,000 samples per second
16 bit
uncompressed/PCM
stereo or mono

MPEG

video compressor/codec
MPG2 (.mpg)
MPG4 (.mpg or .mp4)
video data rate 6 MB or greater
audio
48,000 samples per second
16 bit
uncompressed (PCM) or MPEG audio at 224 KB or greater

DV (.dv)

DV (NTSC)
DV (PAL)

NTSC video parameters

image size (H:V) 720:480 pixels
frame rate 29.97 frames per second

PAL video parameters

image size (H:V) 720:576 pixels
frame rate 25 frames per second

Acceptable essential multimedia audio file formats

PCM, WAV, AIFF, MP3 (at 128 KB or greater)

audio parameters
44,100 or 48,000 samples per second
16 bit

Manuscript preparation
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Spacing and paragraphs

Manuscripts must be double-spaced in 12-point type. Double-space all parts of the manuscript, including the abstract, footnotes, quoted material, references, and figure captions. Each paragraph must be indented.

Page numbers

Page numbers must appear on all pages of text, including references, figure captions, and tables.

Page length, line width, and margins

Each page should have no more than 30 lines of type, with no line exceeding six (6) inches in length. Ample margins should be left at the top, bottom, and sides.

Meeting citations

If your technical paper was presented at a technical meeting, please note that on the title page. The presentation will be cited on the title page in the journal with the number of the meeting, organization, and date.

Headings

It is necessary for you to distinguish the categories of headings in your manuscript so your intentions will be clear to the editors and typesetters. Please follow the guidelines below.

Place principal headings (Category 1 heads) at the center of the page in capital letters.

Place Category 2 heads at the left margin (without indentation) in boldface type, with only the first word of the heading and proper nouns capitalized. Start the text that follows on the next line and indent it.

Place Category 3 heads at the left margin (without indentation) in italics, with only the first word of the heading and proper nouns capitalized. Start the text that follows on the next line and indent it.

If headings of still lower rank are necessary, indent, use boldface type, place a period and dash after the heading, and follow with text on the same line.

Do not number sections of the text. Refer to sections by name or content, e.g., "Discussion on deconvolution."

Figures and tables

In the manuscript, figures should not be embedded in the text but should be collected at the end of the manuscript, with each figure on a separate page, i.e., in a separate digital file (see the section "Preparation of Illustrations"). Figure captions should be listed at the end of the manuscript on a separate page before the first figure page.

Tables, including their headings, should not be included within the text but should follow the manuscript, with each table in a separate digital file. Other types of lists may be run within the text.

Examples of style for terms

acknowledgments
air gun*
airwave
antialias
audio frequency*
back projection*
band limited*
band-pass
bandwidth
borehole
CDP (common depth point)
CMP (common midpoint)
CRP (common reflection point)
Chebychev
crosscorrelation
crosshole
crossline
cross section*
crosswell
database
data set
far-field
finite difference*
f-k filter
free space*
groundwater
half-space
high resolution*
inline
least squares*
mis-tie

near-field
noncollinear
passband
plane wave*
poststack
prestack
pseudosection
P-wave
Q filter
raypath
rms (root mean square)
semi-infinite
subbottom
S/N (signal-to-noise ratio; do not add the word "ratio" to S/N when the abbreviation is used)
S-wave
3D
time slice*
traveltime
2D
wavefield
waveform
wavefront
waveguide
wavelength
wavenumber
wave stack
wave test
wavetrain
wide band*
z-plane

* Hyphenate as an adjective; e.g., finite-difference method.

Examples of style in text

  • Use American English spelling, e.g., modeling, color, analyze, behavior, etc.
  • Each sentence must begin with a capital letter. Lowercase Greek letters, mathematical symbols, or numerals may not be used to begin a sentence.
  • Use a semicolon before the adverbial conjunctions however, thus, hence, therefore, etc., in compound sentences.
  • Use a semicolon between independent clauses not joined by a conjunction.
  • Do not use a colon when an equation or list comes immediately after a verb or preposition.
  • Operator symbols serve as verbs.
  • Equations are punctuated as sentences and should be numbered.
  • The abbreviations et al., i.e., and e.g. are set off with commas, except when et al. is used in a text reference. In that case only, the preceding comma is omitted.
  • Extensive use of italics in text is discouraged; use them only for the most necessary emphasis.
  • Do not use italics for foreign and Latin words that have become common in English usage, e.g., a priori, et al. Check Webster's Third New International Dictionary or Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition, to determine if the term is in common English usage.
  • Use quotation marks to refer to a special term only the first time the term appears.
  • Hyphens are not generally used in words formed with prefixes; e.g., antisymmetric, multidip, nonlinear, semimajor, subbottom, prestack, poststack, pseudosection, etc. Check Webster's Third New International Dictionary or Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition.
  • Hyphens are not used between adverbs ending in ly and the words they modify, e.g., horizontally layered.
  • Do not use newly invented acronyms or trade names to describe your technique. Widely used trade names that appear in the Encyclopedic Dictionary of Applied Geophysics, fourth edition (e.g., microlog), are acceptable.
  • Use symbols for percent (%) and degree (°) in the text as well as in mathematical expressions, tables, or figures.
  • Spell out points of the compass, e.g., east-west, north-northwest.
  • In a series of three or more items, a comma (or a semicolon, where appropriate) follows each item, including the one that precedes and.

Examples of style for units

Physical quantities should be expressed in SI units. When field measurements were obtained or equipment was specified with different units, the value of non-SI units can be specified in parentheses following the SI units, e.g., 2200 m/s (7200 ft/s).

All of the following conform to SI metric standards:

s for second
Ωm or ohm-m for ohm-meter
S/m for siemens/meter
Hz as unit, hertz as word
A as unit, ampere as word
F as unit, farad as word
H as unit, henry as word
V as unit, volt as word
J as unit, joule as word
N as unit, newton as word
W as unit, watt as word
Pa as unit, pascal as word
m/s for meter per second (not ms-1)
1000 (no comma)
times sign (x) instead of dot for multiplication
space between number and unit (10 m, not 10m)
mGal (not mgal) for abbreviation, milligal for word
ms for millisecond
GHz for gigahertz
MHz for megahertz
kHz for kilohertz
cm for centimeter
mm for millimeter
µm for micrometer
µs for microsecond
nm for nanometer
pm for picometer

The exceptions to SI units listed below are acceptable if SI units follow them in parentheses:

bar as pressure unit
darcy as permeability unit
ft
ft/s
gamma as magnetic-field intensity unit
mi
ms/ft

Mathematical material

One of the most complicated and expensive operations in publishing Interpretation is typesetting mathematical formulas. Because Interpretation is now tagged in XML to facilitate online delivery, some rerendering of equations may occur. However, every effort is made to ensure that all mathematical symbols and terms appear in the galley proof just as the author created them (see the section "Acceptable forms of the manuscript" for instructions on submitting manuscripts in LaTeX). You can help reduce these costs by writing equations in their simplest forms. Often, a complicated expression can be simplified if various terms are assigned symbols that are defined individually.

Using symbols that are usual and customary in the authors' field of study for mathematical expressions helps minimize the chance of confusion. For example, the lower case letters t, ω, x, y, and z are often used for time, angular frequency, and the Cartesian spatial coordinates. Regardless of its conventional usage, every symbol should be defined when it is used the first time to avoid the possibility of a misunderstanding. Symbols like x and t familiar to the authors might stand for very different variables to different readers, variables such as space-time coordinates, unknowns to be solved, or parameters along a curve.

Equations that cannot be placed on one line must be broken only at the operator symbols. The sign should be placed at the start of the second line. See Chicago Manual of Style on how to compose equations and how to punctuate equations in embedding sentences. Terms in equations are grouped with the following symbols: parentheses ( ), brackets [ ], and braces {}. For example, x = {2r + [(k + 1)(k + 2)]2}1/2.

The typesetter is instructed to set all mathematical symbols and all isolated letters in the text in italic type if there are no markings to the contrary. Use italics for all symbols for scalar quantities, including those represented by Greek letters. Please note that vectors are set in boldface lowercase roman (regular) letters, whereas matrices and tensors are set in boldface capital roman letters. Uppercase boldface letters also may be used for vectors, and lowercase boldface letters may be used for tensors, if such use is customary. Different fonts may be used to further distinguish scalars, vectors, tensors, and matrices.

Here are some ways you can facilitate the processing of your article: (1) Set all letters (including Greek) representing scalar quantities in italics. Do not use italics for such items as sin, cos, max, min, etc. Do not use italics for letters representing units of measurement: ms, ft, etc. (2) Set all vector quantities in bold lowercase except as otherwise noted, as in the case of electromagnetic fields.

All displayed equations should be numbered sequentially throughout the manuscript. When referring to an equation in text, please identify it with a phrase that could serve to identify the type of equations throughout the text, as shown in the following example:

Without phrase: "inserting equations 5 and 6 into equation 9 ..."

With phrase: "inserting the form, equation 5, of the electric field E and the Lindhard form, equation 6, of the dielectric function e into the constitutive equation 9 ..."

Equation numbers in the text should not be shown in parentheses, e.g., "As shown in equation 10." (However, the equation number at the right margin of the column should be enclosed in parentheses.) A mention of the equation number in the text must be accompanied by equation, expression, or another synonym to identify the number itself. Equations in an appendix should be numbered with the prefix of the appendix, e.g., "equation A-1." Equations should be punctuated as sentences or parts of sentences. Please consult The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, sections 12.18–12.20, for correct punctuation of equations.

References

Authors are requested to be meticulous in following instructions for references, which typically require more editing than any other section of the manuscript. In addition, accuracy and proper form are essential so that references in online Interpretation papers will link to the sources cited. Authors who do not follow guidelines for references can expect a delay in publication because the article may be returned for revision to proper style.

Citation of previous work acknowledges the importance of those investigations and makes available to the reader much more background information than is practical to include in a single paper. However, to be of real value, all references must be readily accessible to the reader. If internal reports with wide circulation constitute an important reference, cite them in the text but not in the reference list, e.g., (G. M. Levy, 1984, Geonics Ltd. Tech., note TN-16). Similarly, citations of personal communications, including papers submitted to a journal but not yet published, may be placed in the text but not in the reference list. Cite personal communications with name and year, e.g. (Jay Smith, personal communication, 2011).

In the text, literature citations should show the author's name followed by the year of publication in parentheses, e.g., Nettleton (1940). If the author's name is not referred to in the text, it and the year should be inserted in parentheses at the point where the reference applies: (Nettleton, 1940).

If there is more than one reference to the same author at a given point in the text, list the years in chronological order with a comma and space between. When more than one author is referenced at a given point in the text, separate the references by a semicolon and a space. If a specific page is referenced, include the page number within the parentheses, after the year (Nettleton, 1940, p. 142).

References should be grouped alphabetically under the heading "References" at the end of the article, after the acknowledgments and appendices (if any). References should be alphabetized according to sections 15.11–15.20 and 16.56–16.93 in The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, i.e., a single-author work precedes a multiauthor work beginning with the same author's name.For a given author referenced more than once for the same year, use the suffixes a, b, etc., after the year of publication to distinguish references. References with identical authorship should be listed in chronological order.

Material in preparation, submitted, or not yet accepted and scheduled for publication should not be included in the references. Material accepted for publication may be cited as a reference if its publication date has been established, but it will be necessary to double-check the status of the material before your article is published. If the material has not yet been published, it should be cited only as a personal communication.

References not cited in the text should not be included in the reference list. Under such circumstances, those references should be grouped separately under the heading "References for General Reading."

In the reference list, the form and punctuation shown in the examples below will be observed. Please note that (1) SEG does not abbreviate titles of journals and names of institutions and publishers and (2) initials of secondary authors' names precede surnames.

References to electronic material should include (1) the standard information, (2) the format (e-book, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, etc.), (3) the digital object identifier (DOI) if the material is registered with CrossRef, and (4) the access date if no DOI is available.

For types of references not included below, follow the guidelines for author-date citations in The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition.

Papers from journals

Guitton, A., 2005, Multiple attenuation in complex geology with a pattern-based approach: Geophysics, 70, no. 5, V97–V107.

Kosloff, D. D., and E. Baysal, 1982, Forward modeling by a Fourier method: Geophysics, 47, 1402–1412.

Mungall, J. E., and J. J. Hanley, 2004, Origins of outliers of the Huronian Super group within the Sudbury Structure: Journal of Geology, 112, 59–70, accessed 20 March 2006; http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JG/journal/contents/v112n1.html?erFrom=5036588460214438945Guest.

Rouse, W. C., A. J. Reading, and R. P. D. Walsh, 1986, Volcanic soil properties in Dominica, West Indies: Engineering Geology, 23, 1–28.

Capitalize only the first word of the title and proper nouns. Do not use quotation marks unless they are actually part of the title. Do not underline or use italics. Show the volume numbers in bold, omit the issue number, and show beginning and ending page numbers or article numbers if the journal does not use page numbers. For references to Geophysics papers since the beginning of 2005, however, include the issue number after the volume number because of the use of alphanumeric page numbers.

Papers from magazines

Castagna, J. P., 1993, Petrophysical imaging using AVO: The Leading Edge, 12, 172–179.

Follow the instructions for papers from journals. If each issue of the magazine begins with page 1, include the issue number after the volume number, e.g., no. 3.

Books

Davis, P. J., and P. Rabinowitz, 1975, Methods of numerical integration: Academic Press Inc.

Hellman, H., 1998, Great feuds in science: Ten of the liveliest disputes ever: John Wiley & Sons, e-book.

Follow the instructions for papers from journals. Reference the full name of the publisher. Do not reference the city of publication or the number of pages in the book.

Articles in books

Baker, D. W., and N. L. Carter, 1972, Seismic velocity anisotropy calculated for ultramafic minerals and aggregates, in H. C. Heard, I. V. Borg, N. L. Carter, and C. B. Raleigh, eds., Flow and fracture of rocks: American Geophysical Union Geophysical Monographs 16, 157–166.

Theses and dissertations

Lodha, G. S., 1974, Quantitative interpretation of airborne electromagnetic response for a spherical model: M.S. thesis, University of Toronto.

Reference to a thesis or dissertation requires neither the name of the department nor the number of pages.

Discussions

Zhou, B., 1992, Discussion on: "The use of Hartley transform in geophysical applications," R. Saatcilar, S. Ergintav, and N. Canitez, authors: Geophysics, 57, 196–197.

website (or part of website)

Roemmich, D., 1990, Sea-level change, http://www.nap.edu/books/0309040396/html, accessed 14 July 2003.

Oral presentations that are not published in a proceedingsor abstract volume

Hubbard, T. P., 1979, Deconvolution of surface recorded data using vertical seismic profiles: Presented at the 49th Annual International Meeting, SEG.

Do not include city.

Expanded and extended abstracts

Constable, S. C., 1986, Offshore electromagnetic surveying techniques: 56th Annual International Meeting, SEG, Expanded Abstracts, 81–82.

Valenciano, A. A., C. C. Cheng, N. Chemingui, and S. Brandberg-Dahl, 2009, Fourier finite-different migration for 3D TTI media: 71st Conference and Exhibition, EAGE, Extended Abstracts, P065.

References to proceedings of many conferences are appropriate only if these proceedings are generally available to the reader. Authors are requested to avoid such references to material of limited availability. The SEG Expanded Abstracts do qualify as references because of their general accessibility.

Patents

Williams, K. E., 2007, Method and system for combining seismic data and basin modeling: U. S. Patent 7,280,918.

After name, indicate the year the patent was granted.

Data sets

O'Brien, M., 1994, 1994 Amoco statics test. Data set accessed 20 May 2004 at http://software.seg.org/datasets/2D/Statics_1994/.

Preparation of illustrations
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All illustrations must be submitted in electronic format. Illustrations submitted after the paper is accepted must meet the specifications listed below. Papers may be delayed or rejected if these illustration guidelines are not followed. See links for examples of figures that need corrections and how they appear after corrections.

Size

  • Is each illustration designed for Interpretation column sizes? (Standard sizes are 20 picas, or 3.33 inches, for one-column figures and 26 picas, or 4.33 inches, for one-and-one-third-column figures at required resolution.)

Type

  • Are all graph labels in the same eight-point sans serif font such as Arial or Helvetica?
  • Is the first letter of graph labels capitalized?
  • Are the abscissa and ordinate of each graph labeled and are units denoted in parentheses?
  • Is there a title heading for each graph?
  • Is an en dash used instead of a hyphen to denote subtraction and negative numbers?
  • Are the graph's style, font, and format consistent with those in other figures, especially similar figures?
  • Is lettering within figures legible and not too large or too small?
  • Do labels on vertical axes read from bottom to top when the page is held vertically (from left to right when you rotate the page clockwise 90°) and are they centered vertically?
  • Are scalars italicized consistently in text, figures, and figure captions?

 Use standard abbreviations in labeling scales.

Resolution

  • Are all illustrations submitted in EPS or TIFF format with color and grayscale images at a resolution of at least 300 dots per inch (dpi) and line art of at least 600 dpi (1200 dpi is preferred)?

Sample figure at low resolution

Sample figure at high resolution

General preparation tips

  • Is the figure number included in the margin of each figure for identification?
  • Is the correct orientation of the printed figure indicated? Use an upward-pointing arrow to show orientation.
  • Is each figure submitted in a separate digital file, named according to the figure number? A figure can be labeled when uploading a figure file to ScholarOne Manuscripts in the caption/legend area.
  • Are TIFF files saved with LZW compression enabled?

Do not embed figures in documents. Do not submit figures in Microsoft Word or PowerPoint. Black-and-white and color bars that accompany image and contour plots should be labeled with units denoted in parentheses.

Permission to reprint figures and tables

Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to use figures and tables previously published in other books or journals and for certifying that they have obtained all necessary permissions when executing copyright transfer forms. Letters from the copyright holders granting permission should accompany the accepted final version of the manuscript. It is also the responsibility of the author to check reproduced materials against the originals for accuracy.

Review and editing procedures
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Legal status of papers in review

A submitted manuscript, including any associated code or essential multimedia, is legally the property of the author until the copyright assignment to SEG is executed and received by the Society. Copyright assignment does not occur until shortly before the paper is accepted for publication. Until then, reviewers and other members of the editorial staff cannot legally use the paper for any purpose other than the review process. It may not be shown, copied for personal use, or commercialized in any way. In the interest of personal protection for Associate Editors and SEG, these guidelines should be followed. SEG is not aware of any instances in which papers under review have been misused.

Peer review procedures and turnaround schedules

Interpretation strives to make the review process rigorous, constructive, transparent, and efficient.

Here are the peer review procedures and turnaround guidelines for reviewers, associate editors, and authors.  The authors can track the review status of their paper online.

The deadlines for authors, editors, and reviewers are actively enforced. When editors and reviewers miss deadlines routinely, they harm the geophysics community. The opportunities of service could have been better used by other volunteers. A manuscript delayed in the review system requires extra processing and reflects poorly on the journal's efficiency and desirability for future authors. Everyone involved in the process has expended efforts on a manuscript in the review process.  The author thus has no more justification to delay the manuscript under review than editors and reviewers.

Online peer review

Associate Editors invite reviewers via e-mail through the online peer review system.

Manuscripts are distributed in PDF format through the system, although original files are also available to reviewers. Reviewers download the manuscript for review. In the online review form, there is a space for comments directed to the author(s). This is a required field. These comments are also available to the Associate Editor. There is also a space for confidential comments to the editors, if needed. In addition, reviewers can upload separate documents to be viewed by the author(s) and editors.

If a reviewer's comments include equations or figures, they must be uploaded as a separate document because the online review form cannot accommodate complex equations or figures.

Reviewers can create a PDF file bearing their annotations and upload it as a separate document. If the author's paper was submitted in Word, reviewers can annotate it in Word and upload the annotated file. Alternatively, reviewers can use Adobe Acrobat editing tools for annotating an electronic copy of the manuscript and then upload that. Reviewers may choose to annotate a hard copy of the manuscript, scan it to a PDF, and then upload the PDF. If they lack the resources to scan a paper to PDF, they may annotate a hard copy of the manuscript and mail it to Interpretation at the SEG Business Office. These annotated hard copies will be scanned and uploaded as separate documents to be viewed by Associate Editors and authors. Reviewers should use black ink and should write legibly when making annotations by hand.

Editing

Accepted manuscripts are edited by an associate editor, the editor-in-chief, and the copy editor. It is the common goal of these people to improve the effectiveness of communication between the author's work and the reader. It is never the intention to change the technical nature of the author's paper. The editing is intended to remove ambiguities in wording and generally to improve the clarity of meaning.

Galley proofs (the formatted paper as it will look in Interpretation) are e-mailed in PDF format to the author, and the SEG publication staff for review. Authors are advised to read proofs carefully because that is their last opportunity to make changes. However, at that stage, changes should be kept to a minimum. Costs associated with any rewriting of the paper by the author will be billed to the author.

Discussions

Authors of discussion papers are asked to be brief and constructive. Discussions of a paper published in Interpretation are screened by the editor-in-chief and then sent to the author of that paper for a reply. To avoid delaying publication, the author is requested not to include any subjects in his reply that are not addressed in the discussion. The authors of the paper being discussed have the right of the last word because no response is allowed to the reply. The discussion and the reply will be published together in the same issue of Interpretation. If no reply is received, the discussion will be published without one. Both the discussion and the reply will be edited to comply with the standards of Interpretation. Galley proofs are sent to the authors of the discussion and reply.

Contributing to the Pitfalls series
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The purpose of the Pitfalls series is to advance the awareness of users of geophysical technology in the practice and art of interpretation by understanding failed cases of technology application. The method of presenting a pitfall is to illustrate how a geophysical technology can be inadvertently misused, resulting in convincing but false answers.

The organization of the paper is intended to follow the common standards of the journal including abstract, conclusion, and references but with the following special adaptations:

  1. Title – To recognize the paper as one of the Pitfalls series, the title should begin with "Pitfall," note the technology used, and the intended use for interpretation (e.g., Pitfall in the use of AVO for Stratigraphic Identification).
  2. Introduction – The introduction should motivate the reader about why this pitfall is important.
  3. Methodology – This should include a basic description of the technology and how it is supposed to work when done correctly. It should also include known and stated geophysical assumptions and limitations of key steps in the workflow.
  4. Results – This is the description of how and why the application of the technology did not work correctly. This could be due to invalid assumptions, inappropriate methodology, a gap in critical data, or an incomplete understanding of key geophysical principles. The pitfall should be illustrated by specific example(s). This should be the central element of the paper.
  5. Suggestions for further study – In this section, the author is also free to advise how to avoid the pitfall or how to mitigate the chances that it can occur.
Contributing to the Tools, Techniques, and Tutorials section
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The purpose of the Tools, Techniques, and Tutorials section is to showcase innovative geophysical technology and workflows that are of significant interest to the interpretation community. Presentations of a tool or technique will clearly define the underlying assumptions, make comparisons to conventional interpretation workflows, and clearly illustrate the interpretation benefit. For commercial reasons, the authors as users may not know, or may not be permitted to provide, sufficient implementation detail to allow a reader to exactly duplicate the results without using the tool. However, the authors must not have any conflict of interest in relation to the publication of the tool or technique and the geophysical principles of the tool must be either well known or fully described. In contrast, tutorials will illustrate best practices in using new or alternatively poorly understood interpretation technology and workflows, as well as innovative data integration workflows that can be closely emulated by the reader. A tutorial can include summary/synthesis of a topic that is relevant/timely for interpreters.

The organization of the paper is intended to follow the common standards of the journal including abstract, conclusion, and references but with the following special adaptations:

  1.  Title – In order to recognize the paper as one of the Tools, Techniques, and Tutorial series, the title should have the word  "Tool," "Technique," or "Tutorial" prominently in the title, note the technology used, and the intended use for interpretation (e.g. Passive seismic monitoring – A new tool for mapping faults).
  2. Introduction – The introduction should motivate the reader about why this tool or technique is important, while in the case of a tutorial, how the technology is poorly understood or underutilized.
  3. Methodology – This section should include a basic description of the technology and how it is supposed to work when done correctly. It should also include known and stated geophysical assumptions and limitations of key steps in the workflow. The authors should avoid using copyrighted or patented names whenever possible. If they do, they should provide a generic word whenever possible. (e.g., "We demonstrate how our new "Ant-tracking" algorithm, a Schmidt Diagram controlled skeletonization algorithm, provides lineaments that strongly correlate to open fractures seen on horizontal image logs).
  4. Results – This is the description of why the application of the technology provides improved results over conventional workflows through examples.

Schedules for special sections/supplements
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Interpretation publishes special sections/supplements with several issues throughout the year. Dates for submission, review, editing, acceptance, and publication are published with the call for papers for that topic. The aim is to publish these papers with a turnaround time close to that of regular technical papers.

Generally, the submission deadline would be three to four months after the call for papers is published. The review and editing process would take no longer than seven months. Papers should be published online and in print within ten months of the submission deadline.

To suggest a topic for a special section, e-mail interpretation@seg.org.

Interpretation manuscript types and subject headings
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The authors are asked to characterize their submissions by manuscript types and subject areas. The manuscript type is used by the SEG manuscript tracking staff when routing a submission to an editor (a member of the board or a guest editor). The editors may use the author's subject area designation when assigning expert reviewers. The assignments of papers to editors are usually based on manuscript type and editorial load.

Once a manuscript is accepted, it will be published as either a Technical Paper or a Tutorial. Using just these two categories (i.e., not ordering the technical papers with subject headings) allows immediate publication of each paper after its composition without waiting for other papers unless it is for a special section.