Archive for September, 2009

Associate Editor Ragahavan Srinivasan

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Dr. Ragahavan Srinivasan, JAWRA Associate Editor for Geospatial Analysis, will be stepping down at the end of the year. One of the longest serving Associate Editors, Srini has done much to make JAWRA so prominent in this field. He also is one of the most cited authors in water resources. With an upcoming GIS specialty conference keeping interest high, Srini and I felt this was a good time to make the change. Thank you, Srini, for all your efforts over the years, and best wishes!

Citing Data Bases

Friday, September 11th, 2009

The new Instructions for Authors make significant changes in how to cite data bases. Previously, we tried (not quite successfully) to treat data bases as formal references. Since it can be difficult to identify the “author,” much less give a year of “publication” for an ongoing data base, this led to a lot of strange citations. Recognizing the futility of this approach, we decided to treat data bases as informal references. The key point, after all, is to make it easy to declare where one got their data! The less specific informal reference structure gives authors more freedom to direct users precisely to the data source.

Data sources should be specified with enough detail to lead a qualified researcher to an appropriate starting point in the data base. Dates of access may be given approximately or as a range, to help resolve any future updates in the source. Some examples of common data bases are given below. You may designate a “default” source for groups of data, as in the second example:

(U.S. Geological Survey, National Water Information System. Accessed December 8, 2008,

(U.S. Geological Survey, National Water Information System. Accessed June, 2007 – December, 2008, Unless otherwise noted all streamflow data in this paper are from this source.)

(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2008. STORET. Accessed December, 2008,


Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Our new Instructions for Authors proposes to make a clear distinction between formal citations and informal references.

Published Literature, or formal citations, includes published materials available to future researchers. All entries have an author/compiler/editor/manager (person or organization), a date of publication, and title and publishing information to uniquely identify the materials. Contractor reports to a public agency fall in this category if they can be clearly and uniquely identified.

Informal References includes everything else: personal communications (letters, notes, and conversations), unpublished reports, legal citations, and data bases. More on data bases will appear in a later post.