Don't give an inch!



The camera ready copy (CRC) procedures for Geophysical Research Letters are now being revised. As one of the new editors, I looked through preliminary versions of the new forms and instructions for authors. Remarkably, all of the units (for example, maximum length = 75 inches or 189.9 cm) are given in both British and metric units, despite the fact that AGU's style guide for authors (Eos, October 11, 1988) states that “all quantities must be in metric units.”

When I contacted the AGU staff to ask them to eliminate the anachronistic British units they refused, claiming that “In the word-processing packages with which we are familiar all margins are given in inches. It is inconvenient for folks not to have both measurements if the software they are using for making CRC requires them to give commands in the British system.” They did not, however, cite any examples of a software package that will not also accept metric units, perhaps because none exists. All packages with which I am familiar accept both inches and metric units.