Becoming a GSA Reviewer

Thinking about reviewing your first paper can be daunting, yet peer review is an invaluable service and, at GSA, we rely on peer review to uphold the quality and integrity of our publications. As a reviewer, your insights and expertise can help authors improve their manuscripts and editors ensure that only high-quality research gets published. Reviewing is a rewarding responsibility that can improve your research and help advance your career.

Who can become a reviewer?

A scientist at any stage in their career who has enough knowledge of the field to evaluate a paper and provide constructive criticism should consider being a reviewer.

Sign up to review!

Register with the publication’s online submission system: Geology, GSA Bulletin, Geosphere, or GSA Books. This will automatically add your name and contact details to the GSA reviewer database. Be sure to add classifications and areas of expertise to your profile so editors can find you. Make sure your contact info is up to date.

The Review Process and Expectations

STEP 1: The editor receives a manuscript and sends it out for review.

  • The editor solicits reviews from at least two qualified reviewers.
  • As a reviewer, you receive an email invitation that includes the paper title, author names, and abstract.
  • Consider whether or not you would be able to evaluate the manuscript and provide a constructive, unbiased review. If reviewing the paper may pose a conflict of interest, contact the editor or editorial office.
  • Read and abide by the GSA Ethical Guidelines for Publication, specifically Section 4: “Reviewers.”
  • Click the link in the email to either accept or decline the invitation. When you click “Accept Reviewer Position,” you will receive an email with instructions and a link to the manuscript. From the time you respond, you have 30 days to complete your review. (If you decline the invitation, suggest alternate reviewers if possible.)
  • If you are unable to complete the review by the deadline or expect significant delays, please contact the editor or editorial office as soon as possible. All journal editors are cognizant that delays can happen.

STEP 2: Evaluate the manuscript and submit your review.

  • Critical reviews examine the suitability and originality of the paper and the adequacy and conciseness of the presentation.
  • You may edit a PDF version of the manuscript or print or request a paper copy from GSA. You are not required to put comments onto the manuscript, but this can be very helpful to an author.
  • Make absolutely sure that you treat the manuscript with confidentiality.
  • Click the link in the instructions email or log into the GSA system to fill out the online review form. In addition to your overall recommendation, you are asked to consider the study’s objectives and rationale, the methods and data, the conclusions and their presentation, the quality of figures and tables, the supplemental materials, and whether or not the manuscript is appropriate for the publication.
  • Indicate if you wish to remain anonymous on the review form.
  • Use the online form’s comment boxes to provide a confidential message to the editor and/or your constructive feedback and comments with line numbers to the author. You may also upload an annotated manuscript file or other attachments with your comments instead of using the provided boxes.

STEP 3: The editor considers reviewer feedback and makes a decision.

  • After reading the reviews, the editor will decide to accept, reject, or ask for revisions to the manuscript.
  • GSA employs a single-blind review process: authors are not aware of the identity of reviewers until a decision is made. If you select to be anonymous when submitting your review, the author will never be made aware of your identity. Your review (anonymous or not) and those of the other reviewers will be shared with the author and all reviewers for the paper via the decision letter.
  • If the authors submit a revised manuscript, you may be asked to look over the revised manuscript to see if your concerns have been addressed.
  • If the paper is accepted for publication, be sure to look for and read the final version, and know that your work had a positive impact on the work being done in your field!

Have questions? Please email

Reach the next step on your geoscience journey by reviewing for GSA Publications!

Sign up to review for GSA!