Community white papers - INSTRUCTIONS


Read the detailed instructions below.

  • Read about Community White Papers and Short Statements here
  • Background information, instructions, themes, and formatting BELOW and here (as pdf)
  • Submit your completed paper using the web form here.
  • The deadline for submitting papers is October 18th, 2015 (midnight, Pacific Time)
  • Other deadlines for authors and Thematic Working Group during the review of white paper contributions: here




  • TYPES: (1) WHITE PAPERS are longer and more comprehensive articles. These should be 5000 words or less (~ approximately 10 pages of text), and should include 3 optional figures or less, 3 optional tables or less, and references as appropriate. (2) SHORT STATEMENTS are brief articles and can be useful to highlight a program or initiative, a note on an advancement, updates on initiatives, or to serve as a brief commentary or opinion piece. These should be less than 800 words in length (~ 2 pages of text) and may include up to one figure and or table, and references as appropriate. A short abstract is recommended if the first paragraph of the text is not descriptive enough to indicate the objective or key topic of the short statement. 
  • Please include all authors, their institutions, a contact email for the Lead Author, and a descriptive title on all contributions. Abstracts or an Executive Summary (300 words maximum) should be included for all White Papers (optional for Short Statements). Coauthor lists should be brief; however, an acknowledgment section can be included to highlight contributors to the article or program, funding agencies, or other information.
  • Appendices can be included.
  • Headings and subheadings can be included as appropriate; the format is flexible.
  • References can follow the general format for the journal Arctic (
  • Submissions should be in MS Word or pdf format with figures and/or tables either embedded within or at the end of the text with clear titles and captions (and with reference to these within the text). Figures and content should not be copied from other sources or publications without prior consent; articles should clearly include references to the original sources and acknowledgments for such content.


  • White papers and short statements should focus one of the selected themes for AOS 2016 and the overall goals of the Arctic Observing Summit. Articles may include more than one theme to address a broader issue or to highlight synergies and connections among themes or programs that are relevant to more than one topic. 
  • Contributions can address any of the following topics within the context of AOS themes, or other key areas of focus that are relevant for the Summit or upcoming summits: tools for communicating with and engaging sectors, alignment of scientific and societal needs for knowledge, advancements or updates on existing programs or activities, new platforms and initiatives, regional or global programs, gaps in observation needs or challenges, emerging opportunities, proposed solutions and novel approaches, recommendations and strategies, cooperation and collaboration.
  • Other topics can be included but please contact the AOS Executive Organizing Committee prior to preparing contributions to ensure we will have members available to properly accommodate your submission at the Summit ( )
  • Authors are invited to make specific comments about the AOS for discussions and breakout sessions.

Important dates and deadlines:
  • October 18th, 2015 - Deadline for AOS white papers and short statements submission via the webform on the AOS website
  • October 18th, 2015 - Deadline for poster abstract submission. NOTE:White papers can be presented as a poster at AOS. Poster abstract submission webform is here.
  • November 15th, 2015: Deadline for white paper reviews by Thematic Working Groups and for sending feedback to white paper authors.
  • December 15th, 2015: Deadline for white paper and short statement authors to send revised versions (if any) back to Thematic Working Groups using the AOS webform
  • February 1st, 2016: Deadline for Thematic Working Groups to complete their master synthesis documents based on the white papers received in preparation of AOS 2016. Synthesis documents should be sent to the ISAC Office ( and these documents will be made public on the AOS website for review by all AOS participants.
  • March 15 - 18th, 2016: AOS participants and Thematic Working Groups participate in discussions and break out sessions to prepare final recommendations
  • April 15th, 2016: Tentative deadline for white paper authors and AOS Thematic Working Groups to finish revisions to their papers and synthesis documents as they will appear in published form (online and other formats for public access)
  • Spring 2016: Appended and revised white papers, short statements, and synthesis documents are published (made public).
  • White papers and short statements are submitted via the webform by October 18th, 2015. Contributions are received by the AOS Executive Organizing Committee and by Co-leads and members of each Thematic Working Group (groups focusing on a particular AOS theme) and review process begins for integration into AOS and for synthesis.
  • Co-leads and members of Thematic Working Groups select one or more Reviewer(s) for each white paper or short statement received. Reviewer(s) will consider how the contributed article aligns with or has the potential to broaden the success of activities during AOS and the AOS goals (see Content guidelines above). Reviewers will make constructive comments for authors of white papers.
  • Reviewers send comments back to the authors of white papers and short statements by November 15th, 2015.
  • Authors of white papers and short statements receive comments from Reviewers (Thematic Working Group members) and are invited to consider the feedback and revise or expand their articles prior to December 15th, 2015.
  • Reviewers and Thematic Working Groups receive the revised articles and begin preparing their own master synthesis documents. These documents are the summaries based on the contributed white papers and short statements. The synthesis documents highlight the issues and contributions from the white papers, recommendations, priorities that have been identified, gaps, proposed strategies and solutions, and other topics. 
  • Thematic Working Groups finalize their synthesis documents for posting publically by February 1st, 2016 (please send to ISAC International Program Office,
  • DURING AOS: White papers and master synthesis documents provide the foundation during face-to-face break-out sessions and AOS discussions starting March 15th, 2016.
  • FOLLOWING AOS: White paper authors are invited to make any final revisions or additions to their contributions after AOS 2016 and prior to final publication by April 15th, 2016.
  • Revised white papers are published online and potentially as part of a special journal issue or other publication (TBA) after AOS 2016 with the consent of contributing authors of these articles.