Instructions for submission of manuscripts to the new digital FOCUS on Geography.

All initial submissions should be sent via email to FOCUS on Geography is open to submissions from geographers and those who write geographically. Feature articles or photo essays must be richly illustrated and contain compelling narrative that is clear, well contextualized, and written for an informed general audience. A personal perspective and sense of humor are welcome. FOCUS on Geography provides a space for a geographer’s individual voice to emerge, free from professional jargon. At this time, we are accepting unsolicited manuscripts for Photo Essays as well as Feature Articles. Although FOCUS will produce the GeoQuiz in- house, we welcome suggestions of themes for future consideration. Review will be by at least two members of the editorial board and will be fast; a decision will be rendered within six weeks from the time of submission. We welcome submissions from AGS scholarship winners and Geographical Review authors, for whom a photo essay in FOCUS on Geography can complement a research publication in the Geographical Review.

Initial submissions of both photo essays and feature articles should be single Word documents with low-resolution photos and captions embedded in the document.

Feature Articles

These should consist of an approximately 2,500-4,000 word narrative with accompanying visuals consisting of at least one map and four to five photos. Additional graphs/charts, and dynamic content such as animations or short video clips can be included. Feature articles can be about a geographic perspective on current events, or can be based on geographic research that is oriented to a broader audience than academics and written with little to no jargon. Feature Articles should contain cited references but should avoid footnotes and endnotes. Standards for style, formatting and citations should be the same as the Geographical Review.

Photo Essays

These should be visually rich with approximately 15-25 images and an accompanying text or no more than 1,000 words that should consist only of an introductory and concluding paragraph and captions, with no other narrative. Video clips may be included as well. Photo Essays should be oriented around fieldwork or a geographic topic of broad interest. Citations are discouraged, but if used these should conform to the Geographical Review guidelines. Clear location (preferably latitude and longitude, but named places with associated city, state, and country information, are also acceptable) needs to be provided for each photo. If people are identifiable in photos, please indicate in your cover letter that you have made every effort possible to receive permission to use their likeness.

Geo Quizzes

Although FOCUS will produce the GeoQuiz in-house, we welcome suggestions of themes for future consideration.

Specific Guidelines

Initial submissions of Feature Article or a Photo Essay must be accompanied by a written statement from the author(s) that:

  1. the manuscript is not under review elsewhere
  2. the manuscript will not be submitted to any other publication while it is under consideration for publication in digital FOCUS on Geography
  3. the contents have not been published elsewhere (including the Internet) in any form
  4. the text is not under copyright

Manuscripts cannot be processed without this statement, which should be included in the cover letter. Authors should indicate the word count in their cover letter.

It is assumed that potential authors are supporters of the American Geographical Society, either as AGS Fellows or as subscribers to its journals. If that is not the case, please consult the AGS Web site, for membership options. It is anticipated that authors will support journals in which they seek to publish.

A FOCUS on Geography submission should follow the general guidelines in The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition and follow the formatting style of the GR. It is an author’s responsibility to provide a manuscript that is accurate in both content and format. Appendixes are not acceptable. Acknowledgments and identification of the author(s), including current position(s) and regular and e-mail addresses, must be on a separate page at the end of the manuscript. Initial submission should include illustrations (at lower resolution) and tables in the order and position in the manuscript as the author wishes them to appear. Final submission of high resolution images will occur once accepted; instructions will be sent to authors at acceptance. Please use 12-point type and double space the entire manuscript, including any references. Margins should be 1.5 inches left and right. Number each page at the bottom right.

Please provide a title that is clear and pointed—the shorter the better, 10-15 words, no subtitles. Please do provide three-five clear keywords.

Specific digital guidelines


Captions for all illustrations should be placed where the authors intends for them to appear in the final version and should be numbered sequentially. In Feature Articles there should be a related call-out in the narrative linking the photograph to the text. In Photo Essays each photo should have a substantial caption (3-4 sentences) that constitute the bulk of the narrative of the essay.

All photographs must have sharp focus and good contrast. We will only accept digital images, ideally submitted as 300-ppi JPEG or TIFF files (although anything over 72 dpi can be worked with). Photos should have a minimum width of 1280 pixels and a minimum of height of 800 pixels – higher widths and heights are preferred. Clear location (preferably latitude and longitude, but named places with appropriate city, state, and country detail is also acceptable) needs to be provided for each photo. If people are identifiable in photos, please indicate in your cover letter that you have made every effort possible to receive permission to use their likeness. For a photograph, include the month or season and the year in which it was taken, as well as the name of the photographer; for other types of illustrations, include the name of the artist or cartographer and, if appropriate, her or his institutional affiliation.

Maps, drawings, and diagrams must be submitted as a 300-ppi (anything over 72 dpi can be worked with) PNG, JPEG, or TIFF created in or converted to Adobe Photoshop or some other Photoshop-compatible program. Diagrams and illustrations should ideally be provided as transparent PNG images or in vector format. If authors are providing vector graphics, these should be submitted in Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) format. Authors are responsible for providing written permissions and proper credits for any material they wish to reproduce from other sources. Maps should be crafted using cartographic design and conventions. If a GIS was used to create maps, please provide the underlying files used to create those maps as part of the final submission. This allows us to provide a web-ready, interactive version of these maps instead of a static image. Submitted geospatial files should be provided in a format that is readable by common GIS software (QGIS or ArcGIS). This includes ArcGIS compatible formats such as Shapefiles and File Geodatabases as well as KML, KMZ, and GeoJSON.


Tables are only accepted in Feature Articles and should be included only when absolutely necessary to corroborate main points in the text. Each table should be placed within the narrative where the author wishes it to appear. Number tables consecutively through the manuscript. Do provide an explanatory caption and call-out in the text. If necessary, cite the source of the data in a note immediately beneath the table. Tables in WORD format are preferred over image-based versions of those tables, since this allows editors to have more control over the styling of these tables and makes the material inside the table searchable and discoverable by search engines.


If you are submitting audio or video clips, please submit them in one of the following formats/codecs:

  • Audio: mp3, oga
  • Video: mp4, ogv, webm

Since different browsers support different formats and audio/video codecs, we need these files in one of the previously mentioned formats and the ability to easily convert the original audio and video in the other formats in order for audio/video to work across browsers.

Have Questions? Interested in Submitting?

Use the associated contact form to send the editors an e-mail, or e-mail us at