Authors & Reviewers

Information for Authors 

Knowledge Editors will regularly be contacting potential contributors for the GIS&T Body of Knowledge. In coordination with a Knowledge Area Editor, authors should follow these current Guidelines for Contributors (pdf) as they prepare their Topic for submission. The Guidelines are updated regularly, so make sure you consult the version available for download here. Once an author has prepared an initial draft, the author should create an account at our Manuscript Central site and upload the entry and begin the review process. All submissions will undergo a single-blind peer review process.

Style, Tone, and Length

The GIS&T Body of Knowledge is an authoritative reference work suitable for use by professionals and students in the field of geographic information science and its technologies, as well as by all others interested in these and related topics. Submissions should be scholarly, written with the highest of professional standards, and accessible to a wide audience. A key goal of each entry is to provide “core” information and communicate it well so that others will be able to teach about that topic. Authors should minimize the use of jargon and introduce technical terms in plain or previously defined language. Technical entries will be expected to include definitions of the technical terms used. Each Topic should be between 2,500 and 3,000 words (inclusive of all of required elements). Further details about required elements can be found here

Entry Revision

The GIS&T BoK covers a dynamic domain that evolves rapidly. New Topics will be added on a regular basis, and existing content will be Archived on a quarterly basis. Authors are responsible for maintaining and periodically updating their entries. Specifically, authors are expected: (1) to update their entries regularly, especially in response to important new research on the topic of the entry, and (2) to revise their entries in a timely way in light of any valid criticism they receive, whether it comes from the Knowledge Editors on our Editorial Board, other members of the profession, or interested readers. In connection with (1), authors should update the References and the Additional Resources sections of their entries regularly, to keep pace with significant new publications, both in print and on the web. If important new publications affect the currency of the main text, then the main text should be altered so as to reflect the important ideas in the new research. In connection with (2), the validity of criticism shall be determined by the Knowledge Editor, typically in consultation with other members of the Editorial Board. The length of time required for a "timely" revision will be negotiable and will both respect the author's current commitments and reflect the seriousness of the criticism. However, entries which require revision but which are not revised within the negotiated timetable may be retired from the active portion of the GIS&T BoK and left only in the Archives until such time as the entry is revised so as to engage the valid criticisms in question.

If an author chooses not to continue to revise their Topic, he or she should advise the Knowledge Area editor. Future versions will be done under a new author.

Information for Reviewers 

UCGIS is committed to insuring that the content it publishes is current, authoritative, and useful to educators and scholars worldwide. Entries within this publication are neither traditional journal articles nor op-ed pieces. Instead, they are intended to be succinct descriptions of the Topics with an eye to both the relevance of the Topic within the broader world of GIS&T and the ways in which this Topic can be studied and understood. The authoritative character of each Topic draws from the knowledge that each subject-matter expert provides as its author, rather than by it being an exhaustive or comprehensive coverage of every topical detail.  Please keep this perspective in mind as you conduct your review.

These guidelines (pdf) provide instructions and suggestions for completing a review that will be as useful as possible to the author and the editorial team. If you have any further questions, please ask the Knowledge Area Editor with whom you are working. 

We are very grateful for the contributions of the many reviewers who have contributed to this effort in the recent past. Thank you!  If you are interested in being a reviewer for a BoK topic, please consult one of our Knowledge Area Editors

Editorial Policies 
  1. Decisions about Topics in the GIS&T Body of Knowledge, including decisions concerning its content and format, are made by the Executive Editors in consultation with the Knowledge Area Editors. Decisions about access to and distribution of the GIS&T Body of Knowledge itself are made by the UCGIS Board of Directors, in consultation with the Editorial Board.
  2. All members of the Editorial Board are selected in consultation with the UCGIS Board of Directors. All Editors hold a 2- or 3-year term, renewable once.
  3. Contributions to the GIS&T Body of Knowledge are normally solicited by invitation from a member of the Editorial Board. However, qualified potential contributors may send to the Editor-in-Chief or another member of the Editorial Board a proposal to write on a topic, along with a curriculum vitae. By qualified, we mean those persons who have published refereed works on the topic of the proposed entry. By refereed works we mean either articles in respected, peer-reviewed journals or books which have been published by respected publishing houses and which have undergone the usual peer review process prior to publication. (Notes in newsletters, proceedings, unpublished dissertations, etc., do not count as much.) However, if a member of our Editorial Board is familiar with the work of the potential contributor, the latter may be certified as qualified.  By topic, we mean a topic that is appropriate for the GIS&T Body of Knowledge and (a) was one of the original topics in the 2006 GIS&T Body of Knowledge or (b) has not yet been included and would fall within one of the Knowledge Areas.
  4. The members of the Editorial Board reserve the right to compare the qualifications of any person submitting an unsolicited request with those of other potential authors who would be qualified to write the entry in question.
  5. All entries, whether solicited or approved, will be refereed by one or more of the subject editors on our Editorial Board or by one or more external referees who have been approved by a member of the Editorial Board. Authors are expected to engage any constructive criticisms they receive during the referee process, prior to publication. Authors should note, however, that no matter whether they have been invited or approved by one of these subject editors, our goal of producing a high-quality reference work requires us to admit the possibility that some submitted entries may not be accepted for publication.
  6. Readers of the GIS&T Body of Knowledge are encouraged to contact authors directly with comments, corrections, and other suggestions for improvements.
Terms of Use 

UCGIS will maintain both current and archived versions of the GIS&T BoK on the Internet, available to be accessed, viewed, and searched in its digital form. UCGIS does this as a means to support the global community around geographic information science and systems. The GIS&T BoK may not be reprinted, reproduced, stored, or utilized in any form, by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including printing, photocopying, saving (on disk), broadcasting or recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, other than for purposes of fair use, without written permission from UCGIS.  If you have any questions about what constitutes fair use of the GIS&T BoK content, or about licensing this content, contact UCGIS directly to inquire.