Author Guidelines

Submission, Review, and Decision Process

Getting Started

Submit your manuscript via the online submission and review system, Editorial Manager, at
Geology: www.editorialmanager.com/geology
GSA Bulletin: www.editorialmanager.com/gsabulletin
Geosphere: www.editorialmanager.com/geosphere
Lithosphere: www.editorialmanager.com/lithosphere

First-time users will need to register for an account at this URL using their active e-mail addresses. The same Username and Password are used to log in as an author or as a reviewer. For help using the Editorial Manager system, select “Help” from the menu at the top of the screen at any time. All submissions, reviews, revisions, and proofs are handled electronically. If you are unable to access the site, please contact the journal editorial office at
Geology: geology@geosociety.org
GSA Bulletin: gsab@geosociety.org
Geosphere: geosphere@geosociety.org
Lithosphere: lithosphere@geosociety.org

Before starting your submission, check out these Tips for using Editorial Manager.

Original Submission

  1. After your paper is submitted, it will be quality checked to determine that all needed elements are present. The paper will be returned to you to fix if it does not include a cover letter, continuous line numbers, double spaced text, captions for figures and tables, all required files, or clearly legible figures. Your manuscript will be considered officially submitted only after it has passed the quality check.
  2. After the paper passes the quality check, it is assigned to a Science Editor. The Science Editor will examine the manuscript to see if it meets the basic acceptance criteria. Papers may be rejected without review if they are inappropriate for the journal, clearly of poor quality, previously published, etc. GSA publication submissions are expected to be innovative, provocative (or describe a significant advance in the field), of timely significance, and of broad interest, either within a discipline and/or across disciplines. Content should reflect new discoveries or approaches, and should not overlap with publications presented elsewhere by the authors. Prepublication via Internet or other methods is prohibited.
  3. Most manuscripts are sent out for peer review. The acceptance or rejection of a manuscript is based on the appraisal of the paper by two or more reviewers and the editor.

Review

  1. The editor will solicit reviews of the manuscript from two to three qualified external reviewers.
  2. Reviewers are expected to treat the manuscript confidentially. Reviewers may choose to be identified to the authors or to remain anonymous.
  3. The reviewers evaluate the manuscript and submit their reviews.
  4. Critical review determines the suitability and originality of the paper and the adequacy and conciseness of the presentation.

NOTE: The review process can take anywhere from one to four months, depending on the availability of reviewers and their timeliness in returning reviews. Authors will be contacted immediately after a decision has been made.

Decision

  1. On the basis of the external reviews and their own reading, the editor makes a decision on the manuscript (accept, revise, reject but encourage resubmission, reject).
  2. The decision is sent to the author. The science editor has sole responsibility for the decision to accept or reject a manuscript, and that decision is final.

Revised Submission

  1. Nearly all manuscripts are returned to the author with suggestions for revision, condensation, or final polish. The author is provided with a due date for submission of a revised paper. Authors can request an extension, if needed.
  2. When submitting a revised manuscript, the author follows the same submission steps and the revised paper again goes through an initial quality check.
  3. The revised paper will be returned to the author if the author does not provide a cover letter, separate document, or tracked changes manuscript detailing exactly how the author has conscientiously considered and answered the suggestions from reviewers and editor(s).
  4. Depending upon the nature of the revisions, the revised paper may be sent out for additional review or it may be accepted directly. This decision is the sole responsibility of the journal editor.

Final Decision

After all revisions have been made (papers may be returned to the author more than once for revision), if the paper is found suitable for publication in a GSA journal, the Science Editor will send a final decision letter to the author, accepting the manuscript for publication.

Note: Upon acceptance, authors are encouraged to send a short description of the paper and its significance, for release to the media. News stories and other reporting about articles should not appear any earlier than the posting of the online paper.

Checking Manuscript Status

After you approve your manuscript, you are finished with the submission process. You can access the status of your manuscript at any time by:

  • Logging into the system with your password.
  • Clicking on the "Submissions being processed" link.
  • The status of your paper will be displayed in a tabular view.

This procedure will display detailed tracking information about where your manuscript is in the submission/peer-review process.

Withdrawing a Manuscript

If at any point you wish to withdraw your manuscript, contact the editor handling your manuscript and advise him or her of the specific manuscript number of the manuscript that you wish to withdraw. You will receive a letter acknowledging the withdrawal.