Open Access

GSA's Policies on Open Access

The Geological Society of America (GSA) has adopted a hybrid approach to open access publication with a combination of Gold (author pays) Open Access, Green (repository) Open Access, and access-controlled articles. These policies apply to all authors and to all GSA publications: GSA journals, Special Papers, Memoirs, Reviews in Engineering Geology, Field Guides.

In order to make clear the separation between scientific editorial decision-making and economic considerations, the option to publish an article under Gold Open Access is made to corresponding authors after peer-review and acceptance of an article for publication.

Gold Open Access: Authors who want their papers to be open access upon publication online may pay an article processing charge (APC) of US$2,500 per article. This is considered "gold" open access. Payment is required after acceptance of the article for publication and must be received prior to online publication. Gold Open Access articles will be published under the terms of the CC-BY 3.0 license. Note: All material in an article published as Gold Open Access must be compliant with the CC-BY license.

Green Open Access: All articles may be published under the terms of "green" open access. Authors may post a copy of the accepted (i.e., post-peer review) version of their paper (along with a link to the article online at in a repository of their choice or to their personal website after the relevant embargo period has passed. The embargo period will be 12 months from formal online publication. GSA's final version (the published PDF) cannot be posted under the terms of Green Open Access.

Look here for a full list of GSA's open access content. Read about the background of Open Access publication, and read about GSA Council's latest plans for GSA.

Author Responsibilities

GSA's policies are meant to satisfy the requirements outlined by the Research Council's UK Policy on Open Access; however, GSA cannot assume responsibility for advising authors on compliance with any requirements or obligations placed upon them by their funder or employer. In all cases, it is the author's responsibility to ensure that their chosen route to publication is compliant.

Since some copyright holders might have policies against commercial reuse, authors wishing to have their article published via Gold Open Access should check to be sure that any material they use in their article that was not created by them may be published under the CC-BY license. GSA cannot advise on such issues, nor undertake negotiations with rights holders on an author's behalf. Also, authors are still bound by GSA's Ethical Guidelines for Publication; the CC-BY license is not an endorsement for duplicate publication.