Geology Impact Factor
2021: 6.324
5-year: 6.456
Cited half-life: >10 years
#1 in "geology" category for 15 years in a row

Author Guidelines

Do you have an exciting geological photo?
Get it on the cover!


How to Subscribe

Subscription Rates

Free Subscription for GSA Members!


Published since 1973, Geology features rapid publication of about 23 refereed short (four-page) papers each month. Articles cover all earth-science disciplines and include new investigations and provocative topics. Professional geologists and university-level students in the earth sciences use this widely read journal to keep up with scientific research trends. The online forum section facilitates author-reader dialog. Includes color and occasional large-format illustrations on oversized loose inserts.

Type of Articles

  • Geology Articles are timely, innovative, and provocative, relevant to the journal's international audience, and representative of research from all fields of the geosciences.

    Geology manuscripts must fit the following size constraints:
    (1) A character count with spaces (in Microsoft Word) of no more than 18,500 characters for the title, author names, affiliations, abstract, main text, Acknowledgments, and figure captions (the References Cited list does not need to be counted).
    (2) Up to 35 references in the References Cited list.
    (3) No more than 4 figures and tables. You may have any combination of figures and tables, as long as you keep to a total of 4 items or fewer.
  • Research Focus Articles provide an (invited) opportunity for authors familiar with specific issues and disciplines to draw new insights from a published article, as well as to provide additional background and depth for readers unfamiliar with the most recent techniques and/or results in this field.
  • Comments and Replies provide a forum in which published papers can be discussed. These are each limited to one PDF page, including references, figures, and tables (about 7500 characters of text = one printed page). Comments focus on the broad assertions or implications in the original article; they are not overly specific or personal. A Comment must be submitted within six months of publication of the original article. Replies are written by the original author(s) after receiving a copy of the relevant Comment. Replies must be submitted to GSA within one month.

All Geology papers are subject to GSA's Ethical Guidelines for Publications.

No content found

No content found

Copyright Information

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
Copyright Permissions
  PO Box 9140
  Boulder, CO 80301-9140
  fax: 303-357-1070
  • 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

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

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 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 ( 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

All permission requests should be addressed to:
Copyright Permissions
Geological Society of America
P.O. Box 9140
Boulder, CO 80301-9140
fax: 303-357-1070

No content found

No content found

Contact Information

Geology Questions:

Lyne Yohe, Managing Editor
tel: +1-303-357-1091

Jennifer Olivarez, Editorial Assistant
tel: +1-303-357-1010

Mailing Address:
The Geological Society of America
Publications Department
3300 Penrose Place
PO Box 9140
Boulder, CO 80301-9140
tel: +1-303-357-1000
fax: +1-303-357-1070