SSA Electronic Supplement Guidelines

Authors are encouraged to devise and to submit supplemental digital material that will accompany papers prepared for the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA) and for Seismological Research Letters (SRL). The editors especially encourage the submission of high-resolution graphical information, animations of time-sequenced observations or simulations, and three-dimensional data models.  Other forms of digital material may also be proposed for editorial consideration. Supplemental materials will be published online alongside the electronic version of your article.

Please note that the material must be supplemental; that is, papers published in BSSA or in SRL must be complete without the electronic supplement.

Also please note that authors of articles with electronic supplements in BSSA and SRL will be charged a $120 processing fee.

BSSA and SRL Esupp Guidelines

Submit your electronic supplement files in Editorial Manager under the “Supplemental Material” category.  The main page should be submitted in Word.  The supplement should be formatted in a style consistent with that of other electronic supplements on the SSA Web site. The main page of the supplement should contain the title of the paper, the list of authors, and a brief introductory paragraph or two describing the supplemental material. Supplemental figures and tables must be labeled with a capital letter “S” (i.e. Figure S1, Figure S2, Table S1, etc.)  In order to facilitate the handling of electronic supplements, you should create files in widely accepted formats.

  • Create a main page in Word and upload it under the "Supplemental Material" category in Editorial Manager.
  • Upload each table as a separate file (either in Word or CSV format).  If the table is in Word format, include the caption above each table, as well as on the main page of the supplement.  Label each table "Table S1, Table S2, etc."  If the table is in CSV format, the table caption should only appear on the main page.
  • Upload each figure as a separate file (GIF, JPEG, and PNG only -color JPEG and PNG files must be in RGB mode, not CMYK) under the "Supplemental Material" category in Editorial Manager.  Please do NOT submit images as PDFs.  Do not include the figure caption or figure number on the figure.  The figure caption should be placed on the main page.  Figures should be labeled "Figure S1, Figure S2, etc."
  • Animations should be supplied as MPEG files compressed with freely-available (that is, non-proprietary) codecs or as h.264-encoded MP4 files. Please do NOT submit animations (or other videos) as .AVI, .WMV, .MOV or .MKV files. 
  • In the "Manuscript" file, include "available in the electronic supplement to this article" after every reference to the electronic supplement (i.e. "see Table S1, available in the electronic supplement to this article").
  • All archive files included in Electronic Supplements should be compressed using standard Zip format except for software and/or source code intended for use on Unix, Linux or similar systems which may be archived in tar or tar gzip format. Please do not use Rar, 7Zip, Stuffit or other proprietary and/or non-standard archive formats.

If your supplement contains citations, it must also contain a complete reference list that follows BSSA style for references.

Please look at the following examples of some of the types of material that take advantage of the capabilities of the Web and are therefore suitable for electronic supplements, and how to format your supplement:

Preferred File Types for Esupps

SSA wishes to provide supplementary material to readers in a user-friendly format that downloads efficiently and archives as consistently as possible. This involves the use of nonproprietary software as much as possible.

Please use the file formats indicated below if at all possible; however, because of the high variability in supplementary material, exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis and with approval from SSA.

Supplement Type

Preferred File Formats






·  Upload each table as a separate file.

·  Label each table "Table S1, Table S2, etc."




·  Tables with text, a combination of text and tabular data, and/or that require varying column widths for other reasons

·  Tables are typically opened for view in HTML directly from the main esupp document

·  Do not paste tables created in other formats into a Word file; data must be manually moved into a Word table.

·  Table title must be included in the Word file

Plain text (CSV preferred)

·  Tables of tabular data with fixed column width

·  Tables are typically opened downloaded to the user’s computer but can be set to open as plain text files

·  If you wish to also have the table viewable in HTML format, please provide a Word version of the table.

• Table title is be included in the main esupp document only

·  At the time of manuscript submission, please indicate whether plain text files are intended to be displayed for view within the supplement, downloaded to the user’s computer, or both.   Files that are intended for downloading to the user’s computer should be provided in one or more zipped file; if files are sufficiently large or sufficiently different (i.e., will be in different sections of esupp), then individual files can be zipped.

Avoid Excel

Exceptions are allowed if the Excel format is required for reader to use specific Excel functions (e.g., calculations)

Tables in which reader may want to add their data to perform analyses



·  Figure captions should appear in the main esupp document and not be repeated in the figure image files.

·  All figures should be in RGB color mode.

·  Please use the minimal pixel dimensions needed for clear resolution (to avoid excessive download time).

PNG (preferred over GIF for nonanimated files)

Line drawings;

nonphoto images



basic maps; screenshots of websites




Maps with color scales; photos


Line drawings;

nonphoto images;

simple animated files (not live-action movies/videos)



basic maps

See also Videos.

Rare exceptions made for PDF (based on content and with SSA approval)

Extremely high-resolution required for detailed figures

Having a high math content is no longer sufficient to require PDF format to be used.

Trench logs

See also Unusual Files.

Please do not use EPS or TIFF

Typically these file types may be converted to PNG, more rarely to PDF (see PDF).


h.264-encoded MPEG-4 (.mp4 or .m4v)

Free open-source software (e.g., Handbrake) is available to convert other formats to this format.

Live-action footage (e.g., explosions)


simple animations

Real-time/ animated seismograms

Please do not use .avi, .wmv, .mov or .mkv formats

Archives and Other Zipped Files

standard ZIP format

TAR or TAR .gzip (.tgz)

Source code is intended for use on Unix, Linux, or similar s

Generally zip TAR files >500 KB


Please do not use Rar, 7Zip, Stuffit, or other proprietary and/or non-standard archive formats


Point cloud files

Very large data files

Please coordinate with SSA for loading files

LiDAR data

Other Unusual Files


M files

MATLAB codes


Rare exceptions made for PDF (based on content and with SSA approval)

Large pre-existing PDF files

Software manuals

Rare exceptions: URLs may be included if they are to a highly stable server.

Information that is not required to be part of the permanent SSA article or esupp.

URLs will not be hyperlinked or supported by the SSA Website.

Raw data files, especially containing screenshots

Other: Please check with SSA for other file types not listed here.

Review and Revision 

All electronic supplements must be reviewed by the electronic-supplements editor and by SSA's Webmaster.  If your supplement does not follow the guidelines, you will be notified that revisions are necessary.  You can elect to have SSA make the changes, but there is a charge for this service. 

If you have any questions regarding the preparation of your electronic supplement, please contact:

BSSA Editorial Office

SRL Editorial Office