For Authors

Guideline for authors of ISIpedia articles

ISIpedia is a science communication tool to make the latest climate impact research accessible to the public. To this end we invite author teams to distill the societal relevant messages from their scientific publications into ISIpedia articles that will enable citizens, stakeholders and policy makers to take informed decisions in light of climate change. ISIpedia articles could provide relevant information about future risks, address observed changes in natural or human systems and their attribution to climate change but also inform about the latest progress in these processes.

In general, we assume a setting like this: a scientist has analyzed the ISIMIP2a/2b data with an interesting outcome that is worth a scientific paper and should be communicated to the public. I.e. the indicator is calculated by the authors and analysed /discussed for the paper. It is then up to the authors, how to present the results to the public (more details below).

When planning to contribute to the ISIpedia portal or you have any question, please get in contact with the editorial team (Barbara Templ, Mahé Perrette) by isipedia.editorial.team@pik-potsdam.de . The team is happy to support the generation of national average values of the chosen indicator of your sector and can provide further information regarding the scope and possible formats of your article. We are trying to keep it as flexible as possible (you could even include video messages) by providing you a very basic article template and different tools.

Guidelines for writing an ISIpedia article

  • Each ISIpedia article requires a peer-reviewed paper in the background. The preparation of the ISIpedia article can, of course, start before the scientific paper is published, but the final online publication of the ISIpedia article would be conditional upon publication of the related scientific paper.
  • As we are scientists, we may not have the best feeling of what is easily understandable to the public, therefore we can get you in contact with the experts in science communication.
  • The structure of the study should consist of the following sections: Key messages (organized in bullet points), Results (including 1 or two Figures), Methods, Discussion.
  • The length of the text is really up to you, but we suggest to be around 5-6 pages.
  • When choosing the Figure, the main aspect to consider: “What is your main take-home message you would like to highlight”, “Can I explain everything what is displayed on the plot?” If not, consider replotting it.
  • Choice of area/region: we would prefer having assessments at national level because users may prefer country-wise assessments since they are more meaningful in the political decision-making progress. However, if you feel that the message of your contribution is rather useful, better explainable at a specific region / continent-level, please feel free to do so. If you are uncomfortable with evaluating the results at region/continent-level, because you are an expert at your nation`s level, please write only about your chosen country.
  • Please use a direct style explicitly referring to your scientific paper. Example: “What we present here is based on our paper “Changes in exposure to extreme climate impact events under global warming”, published in Earth’s Future in 2020. We were most interested in…”
  • Discussed model simulations have to be in line with the ISIMIP protocol (from ISIMIP2a/b onwards) that provides a common scenario framework for all articles.
  • You may discuss, if there is any problem with the model simulations, and if yes, why, etc. can you explain the discrepancy between the model results and the observations or not
  • Within the ISIpedia portal, articles will be labeled according to three assessment categories (“future projections”, “model evaluation”, “detection and attribution of observed impacts”), the geographical location (country, group of countries, world), and the name of the indicator or topic discussed. Sub-national information shall be labeled under the encompassing country.
  • Avoid jargon and technical terms. Example: Instead of using “Soil moisture is defined as extremely low when falling short of the first percentiles of the pre-industrial reference distributions” say “Conditions are considered extremely dry if soil moisture is lower than expected once in 100 years without climate change”.
  • Avoid sentences starting like “Figure XY shows…” or “XY et al. have shown…” but try to frame the sentence as a message where the reference is only given in brackets at the end. Example: Instead of saying “Figure 1 shows that at today’s level of 1°C of global warming country ’s land area affected by droughts is, on average, already km2 (% of the countries land area) larger than under pre-industrial conditions.” write ”At today’s level of 1°C of global warming country ’s land area affected by droughts is, on average, already km2 (% of the countries land area) larger than under pre-industrial conditions (see Figure 1).”
  • Provide as much information as possible to generate as much understanding as possible. Example: Instead of saying “There is still a large spread across future projections from different impacts models that may be induced by AB, CD, EF…” go for a “There is still considerable spread in impact models projections that, under the considered dry conditions, is primarily induced by different representations of evapotranspiration. So far it was not possible to better constrain the representation within the models. To do so we need better observations of …”
  • If your scientific paper is a global study based on gridded data, the information will have to be broken down to country level. In this case, the number of countries can be larger than to be handled manually, thus we provide the technical support for an automatic generation of national aggregated values and Figures. In this case, the ISIpedia article will be written as one “master document” providing the information that is identical across all countries (definition of the indicator, underlying data processing, restrictions of the method etc.).

Final checklist before start writing your ISIpedia article.

  1. What is your main message you would like to highlight?
  2. Which area you would like to focus on?
  3. Is there a related published paper (using ISIMIP 2a, 2b)?
  4. Is it easily understandable for the end-users (general public / stakeholders)?
  5. Would you like to collaborate with an expert in science communication?