Change Coming to Lithosphere

GSA is participating in a new open-access, community-led journal being launched in 2020 by GeoScienceWorld (GSW), a nonprofit collaborative and comprehensive resource for research and communications in the earth sciences. (GSA is a founding publisher of GSW, and its journals and books are hosted by GSW.) See more information here.

As part of GSA’s commitment to this new publishing effort, GSA has reached an agreement with GSW to make Lithosphere the vehicle for their new journal, and ownership of Lithosphere will transfer to GSW in January 2020.

This decision wasn’t made lightly and was debated at length by GSA Council. It’s a bold move, but one we are confident will lead to growth for the journal in a time of increased competition and challenges for society-run journals.

Why a New Journal?
As mandated open-access proposals have gained ground around the world, GSW has been looking for ways to help its member publishers deal with these changes. While GSA made Lithosphere and Geosphere fully open access in 2018, other founding publishers of GSW have fewer open access options. The solution: a community open-access journal available to all.

GSW’s new Lithosphere will receive papers in two ways: direct submissions from authors and transferred submissions from participating societies. Transferred papers will be those that a society has determined are not right for its journal(s) but that still have merit and should be considered for publication. Examples include: papers that don’t match the scope or size restrictions of a particular journal; papers of regional interest; papers that deliver a nice compilation of data but no new insights or broader-scale implications; papers with confirmatory results considered valuable but not always published (e.g., the second instance of a mineral discovery); and null results, where an experiment or model was tried but did not work (valuable research for someone pursuing the same line of thought).

Lithosphere will continue to publish under GSA for the rest of 2019. The journal will retain its impact factor, and all archival content published by GSA will continue to be open access and freely available just as it is today.