Prepare a Research Paper for Groundwater

Topics on any subject pertaining to groundwater will be considered for publication.

Manuscripts must not have been previously published or currently submitted elsewhere for publication while in review for Groundwater®

See an example Groundwater manuscript.

Articles “prepublished” as preprints or in similar “early-submission repositories” can be submitted to Groundwater. If the article has been rejected for formal publication elsewhere, Groundwater will only accept a substantially revised version of the prepublished manuscript. Mention of prepublication and manuscript status must be made at time of submission. If accepted and published in Groundwater, a special footnote will be added which mentions the repository the preprint is housed in as well as the preprint’s DOI number.​

Papers of several different types are published in Groundwater. Please consult the definitions of paper types. Also please note that various paper types have different limits on paper length and other specific requirements.

Manuscripts and all figures must be in an electronic format in order to utilize our online review system. Manuscripts should be prepared in a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word, double spaced in size 12-point font, with line numbering.

  • Manuscripts must be in English.
  • Title should be fewer than 100 characters (including punctuation and spaces).
  • Abstract should contain fewer than 250 words.
  • The article impact statement should be no more than 140 characters (including punctuation and spaces).
  • Number pages consecutively starting with the title page.
  • Use the “line numbering” feature in your word processing program.

Units of measurements

  • Abbreviations, symbols, units, and Greek letters should be identified the first time they are used.
  • Isotopic data should be expressed following the guidelines set forth in Ground Water 34, no. 3, page 388 (1996). See the guidelines (PDF).
  • Either metric, SI, or U.S. customary (English) units may be used. If U.S. customary units are used, the author is asked to provide the conversion to metric/SI units in parenthesis when units are given in the text of the paper. It is not necessary to give the conversions in tables and figures.


Acknowledgments should be made only for significant contributions by professional associates, permission to publish by employer, access to land or equipment, financial support, and reviews. A brief closing statement will usually suffice.


  • Indicate in text by author(s) name and year (e.g., Jones 1999). For multiple references by the same author in the same year, the letters a, b, and c after the year can be used (e.g., Jones 1999a and 1999b). Papers with multiple authors should be cited in the text using “et al.” (e.g., Jones et al. 1999).
  • At the end of the paper, list alphabetically by author(s) name in chronological order.
  • Write in the style of the Harvard referencing style. View reference samples.
  • Do not reference limited access, administrative, or confidential reports or commercial products for which a charge will be made for access.
  • Include personal communication references (written or oral) in the reference list.
  • Do not abbreviate publication titles.
  • We require that journal papers be cited using both volume and issue number (e.g., Groundwater 32, no. 4: 257-269).
  • Do not use footnotes. (Footnotes are acceptable in tables only.)

It is highly recommended that authors utilize some of the many online search engines to ensure that all publications relevant to their research are identified.

Supporting information

Supporting information is important, ancillary information relevant to the article that does not appear in the print or online version of the journal. It can comprise additional tables, data sets, figures, movie files, audio clips, 3-D structures, and other related nonessential multimedia files. Read more detail from Wiley on supporting information.


Should be numbered and titled. Tables should be embedded “inline” in the manuscript.


  • Figures should be prepared at the final publication size (8.25 cm wide for one column and 17.15 cm wide for two columns). It is a good idea to prepare your figures with final publication requirements in mind, and then convert them into formats appropriate for online review.
  • Color figures are published free of charge to the author. However, as there are additional costs to print color, it is asked that the author use color figures only when necessary to improve the clarity of the figure.
  • Digital figures are required. Digital figures must have a resolution of at least 300 dpi (dots per inch) and be submitted in a TIF or EPS format with embedded fonts.
  • We recommend the following tips for the best possible reproduction:
    • If possible, avoid making prescreened line art (art containing gray shading). It is nearly impossible to digitize these images accurately without creating “blotchy” patterns. If you must provide an image that contains screens, the following guidelines apply —
      • Always submit the image at its final size. For Groundwater, that is 8.25 cm wide for one-column art and 17.15 cm wide for two-column art.
      • Generate the image at line screens of 85 lines per inch (lpi) or lower.
      • When applying multiple shades of gray, differentiate the gray levels by at least 20 percent. In other words, apply gray in increments or steps no closer than 20 percent. Use 20 percent black, 40 percent black, and 60 percent black. Alternatively, use various pattern backgrounds (solid dots, lines, bricks, diamonds, squares, etc.).
      • Never use levels of gray below 20 percent or above 70 percent black. Levels of gray outside these guidelines will either fade out or become totally black upon printing.
    • Use thick, solid lines that are no finer than 1 point in thickness.
    • Use bold, solid type. Avoid using type with serifs (e.g., Times); sans serif type (e.g., Helvetica) reproduces best.
    • At 100 percent size, no type should be smaller than 5 point.
    • Avoid layering type directly over shaded or textured areas. Create a white box and place the lettering within the boundaries of the white box.
    • Avoid the use of reversed type (white lettering on a black background).
    • When scanning images, be sure that the originals are perfectly clean and neat. Scanners faithfully reproduce all smudges, crooked lines, and stray marks.
    • When printing images that will be scanned, use high-quality laser printer paper or bond paper. Do not use photocopies. Opacity and smoothness are important quality factors in the scanning process. Use the highest resolution possible on your printer or graphics plotting device.
    • When preparing figures that will be scanned, remember that surface smoothness is critical. Tape, creases, and other minor surface irregularities are unacceptable since they will produce shadows that the scanner sees as black. Maximize the black and white contrast (the toner level in the printing device must be high). The scanner does not improve contrast; it reproduces contrast as is.
    • Color publication is available. Color figures are published free of charge to the author. However, as there are additional costs to print color, it is asked that the author use color figures only when necessary to improve the clarity of the figure.

Embedded Rich Media

The journal facilitates and encourages embedded rich media as part of a submitted paper. For specifications as to accepted file types and file size see: Embedded Rich Media.

Embedded rich media that includes speech must be accompanied by a transcript. This must be provided under the file designation of "Transcription". If the speech is not English, an English translation of the transcript must also be provided in the same file. Each embedded media file must be numbered (e.g. Audio 1, Audio 2, etc) as figures or tables would be. This numbering must be reflected in the manuscript (i.e. where the rich media is cited in the body text of the manuscript) and in the legend (e.g. "Video 1: Demonstration of Technique"). For every video file there should also be a placeholder image, which would usually be a still image taken from the video. This should be uploaded with the file designation "Placeholder Image (Video Only)", as well as the timestamp in seconds.

Graphical Abstract

A Graphical Abstract is a single, concise visual summary of the main topics or findings of the article. The journal allows authors the option of submitting a Graphical Abstract with all article types that have a written abstract. Upon publication, the Graphical Abstract will be displayed next to the published article within the Table of Contents on Wiley Online Library.

The Graphical Abstract should be a single-page illustration or graphic image that gives readers a visual depiction of the article’s “take-away” message. The image may be a figure or image included in the text itself, or a new figure generated specifically for this purpose.

Requirements include the following:

  • The submitted image should be 5.5 inches square at 300 dpi
  • Preferred file types — TIFF, PDF, JPG
  • A brief one- to two-sentence summary of the key findings presented in the paper.

Before you submit your paper, please gather the following information

  • Author information. The first and last name and affiliation of all authors, and the postal address, telephone and fax numbers, and email address of the corresponding author. The person who uploads the manuscript must be the corresponding author.
  • Title and abstract of the paper. You can copy and paste this from your manuscript.
  • Paper type (e.g., research paper, issue paper). See the definitions of the different paper types.
  • Manuscript files in Microsoft Word or PDF.
  • It is recommended that the manuscript contains the tables and figures embedded “inline.” This way, the author has to upload only one document. Figures can be uploaded separately, if desired.
  • Figures at this stage do not have to be publication quality, but it is a good idea to start with publication-quality figures and then save them in the formats allowed by the system.