Meteorological Monographs and Special Collections

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  • 1 Chief Editor, Meteorological Monographs
  • | 2 Publications Commissioner
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Denotes Open Access content.

Denotes Open Access content.

The purpose of this editorial is to introduce the new approach the American Meteorological Society (AMS) has taken with Meteorological Monographs and to distinguish them from the special collections of journal articles. Moreover, whereas Meteorological Monographs were previously published like traditional hardbound books, henceforth they will be entirely open access and online, in addition to being available in print.

Goals of Meteorological Monographs

The AMS Meteorological Monographs series will consist of collections of review papers on topics in which rapid developments are currently being made, as well as collections of papers summarizing state-of-the-art knowledge (e.g., from recent special topical meetings). In general, monographs are envisioned as a collection of papers that provide a thorough background on a general topic area and thus are expected to have comprehensive reference lists so that someone new to the topic could be guided to the appropriate sources of original literature. Monograph papers may contain some new findings and previously unpublished material, but papers that only describe findings of recent research projects or field studies are more appropriate for special collections published in an AMS journal. Usually, monograph papers are written by invited authors. Appropriate material for monographs includes collections of review articles (such as those based on special topical meetings) and tribute volumes. Because monograph papers are different from submissions to other AMS journals, longer articles might be expected and the normal page limitations of AMS articles would not apply. Furthermore, to increase the impact of monographs, all papers to be published in a monograph collection will be open access. All monograph articles published by AMS will be available via the same website as AMS journal articles (

Procedures for Monographs

It is the expectation that monograph papers will be submitted, reviewed, and published in the same manner as other articles. Although the organizing editors are responsible for proposing the collection, recruiting submissions, suggesting reviewers, deciding whether unsolicited papers are suitable for the collection, and writing the preface for the monograph, they will not act as peer-review editors. Instead, the chief editor for Meteorological Monographs will serve as series editor and there may also be a separate volume editor. The volume editor will be different from the organizing editors and will not be a coauthor of any paper in the monograph collection to ensure the review process is rigorous.

Organizers wishing to propose a monograph should refer to the “Organizing a Monograph” web page ( Once a new monograph request is received, it will be reviewed by Meteorological Monograph Series Chief Editor Greg McFarquhar. There will then be a telephone conference among the chief editor, organizing editors, and staff from AMS. At this meeting, the organization of the volume, timeline for monograph preparation, editing process, and funding sources will be discussed. Thereafter, a decision will be made on whether to proceed with the proposed monograph.

The possibility of a printed bound copy of the monograph will also be considered and discussed at the organizational teleconference described above; the decision on whether to print the monograph will be made on the basis of the wishes of any funding agency and the perceived market for a hard-copy product. In any event, all future monographs will be made available online in much the same way that journal articles and special collections are published. Thus, individual chapters of monographs will be ready for download in an early-release format as soon as they are approved during the review process to ensure the material is publicly available in a timely manner. Combined with all chapters being open access, this will increase the exposure and impact of the monograph chapters. (Note that AMS Meteorological Monographs currently found online at and through SpringerLink are legacy volumes, published in 1947–2013, and future AMS monographs will not be available on that site.)

Goals of Special Collections

Special collections published in AMS journals are collections of articles on similar topics that fall under the guidance of the individual journals. Although review papers can also be part of a special collection, it is expected that the majority of articles published as a special collection will consist of new and previously unreviewed material. Suitable material for special collections include results from field studies, papers from meetings or conferences on specialized topics, or papers on a topic of current interest in the atmospheric, oceanic, and related sciences.

Procedures for Special Collections

Organizers wishing to propose a special collection should contact the chief editors of the journals to which submissions are planned, and the relevant chief editors and the publications commissioner will consider approval. It is the expectation that special-collection papers will be submitted, reviewed, and published following the same requirements and standards as other papers submitted to AMS publications. The proposers of a special collection are encouraged to recruit submissions, suggest reviewers, and recommend whether unsolicited papers are suitable for the collection. Collection organizers do not act as peer-review editors. The peer-review process for each paper will be handled by a regular journal editor, assigned by the journal’s chief editor.

Once accepted for publication, special-collection papers are made available online in the same way as standard journal articles. Special-collection papers appear alongside the other papers of the journal, with a graphic logo on their title page that identifies them as part of a particular special collection. All papers in a special collection are linked to that collection’s web page. When all papers within a collection have been published, there can be an option to print a hard-copy version of all of the papers in a bound volume. AMS staff can work with collection organizers to determine an estimated cost for hard-copy print volumes.