GSA obtains copyright ownership from authors of all articles and books. (See "Open Access Content" below, for exceptions.) Works prepared by U.S. government employees in the course of their work are in the public domain, however, and are not copyrighted. It is the responsibility of those requesting permission(s) to determine if an article meets this test and is in the public domain.
Special "Fair Use" permission
If you want to use a single figure, a brief paragraph, or a single table from a GSA publication, GSA considers this to be fair usage, and you need no formal permission and no fees are assessed unless you or your publisher require a formal permission letter. In that case, you should print a copy of this document and present it to your publisher.
An author has the right to use his or her article or a portion of the article in a thesis or dissertation without requesting permission from GSA, provided the bibliographic citation and the GSA copyright credit line are given on the appropriate pages.
Check the permission statement in each publication
Each publication includes a statement of copyright policy for that publication that permits and describes limited usages. These statements are found on the front or back of the title page or the table-of-contents page in the masthead statement. In most cases, these statements grant to individual scientists the right to reproduce a limited number of copies for purposes that further education and/or science, including classroom use. If your usage falls within the statement appearing in the publication in which you are interested, you need no further permission from that usage.
Other usages are also allowed by these statements, with instructions to remit a minimum fee to the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC), along with the ISSN or ISBN number of the publication. Within the U.S., the CCC collects and remits payments to GSA. Other organizations throughout the world are authorized by GSA to collect and remit payments for copyright usage in various countries. If your usage falls within the scope of these usages, please follow our instructions or observe the lawful practice within your country if you are outside the U.S. Please do not write for permission.
See also GSA's Open Access Policy.
Permission Granting and Payment
If your usage does not fall within the permissions granted in our masthead statements, you must contact Copyright Permissions, to seek permission for the usage. Requests must be specific as to:
Please send all permission requests to
PO Box 9140
Boulder, CO 80301-9140
- What material, exactly, you wish to use.
- The title of the publication in which you propose to use the material, and the name of the publisher.
- How many copies will be reproduced, and at what price (if any) will they be sold.
- Whether you are the author of the original material (if so, read your original copyright assignment form; it gave you certain "fair use" rights for future usage of parts of your article).
- What languages you want rights for.
- What parts of the world you want rights for.
- Whether the material will be modified, and a general statement about the extent of the modification.
License fees for actual usage may be assessed, depending on the proposed usage. License fees are assessed only when the proposed usage is large, or is commercial in nature, or when it may result in distribution that would limit GSA's market. The amount of such fees varies depending on several factors. License fees are not waived for GSA members. Like processing fees, license fees must be paid prior to use of the material or the permission is void. Formal invoices will be issued only upon request, otherwise a reference number is provided for backup and to note on your payment.
Electronic capture of complete GSA journal and book articles is usually discouraged because it competes directly with GSA's own distribution of print and electronic matter. When it is permitted, appropriate license fees are assessed, and a contract stating the limits of such capture and distribution is required.
Additional Information for Authors
An author or group of authors may post without further permission, on their own personal or organizational Web site(s) the title, authors, and full abstract of their posted paper(s), providing the posting cites the GSA publication in which the material appears and also providing the abstract posted is identical to that which appears in the GSA publication.
Under the terms of Green Open Access in GSA’s Open Access Policy, authors may post a copy of the accepted (i.e., post-peer review) version of their published paper (along with a link to the article online at www.gsapubs.org and the citation from the published article) 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.
Open Access Content
In January 2018, Lithosphere and Geosphere became gold open access journals, and all papers published from January 2018 on are published under either the Creative Commons license CC-BY-NC or CC-BY (https://creativecommons.org/). Papers published before January 2018 are freely accessible online, but copyright may apply. If you want to use material from Geosphere or Lithosphere, or from any open access papers in Geology, GSA Bulletin, or GSA books, check the paper for its copyright or Creative Commons status.
- CC-BY-NC: Allows anyone to copy, redistribute, remix, transform, and build upon the contribution, in any format or medium, as long as the contribution and authors are credited, a link to the license is provided, any changes made from the original are indicated, and no suggestion is made by others that the authors endorse the use. The material may not be used for commercial purposes (generally defined as primarily intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or monetary compensation).
- CC-BY: Allows anyone to copy, redistribute, remix, transform, and build upon the contribution, in any format or medium, for any purpose including commercial purpose, as long as the contribution and authors are credited, a link to the license is provided, any changes made from the original are indicated, and no suggestion is made by others that the authors endorse the use.
See the full legal codes of the Creative Commons licenses at https://creativecommons.org/.
All permission requests should be addressed to:
Geological Society of America
P.O. Box 9140
Boulder, CO 80301-9140