Lithosphere Has Evolved

GSA is participating in a new open-access, community-driven journal launched in 2020 by GeoScienceWorld (GSW), a nonprofit collaborative and comprehensive resource for research and communications in the earth sciences, in collaboration with six other societies. (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 has transferred to GSW.

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.

Lithosphere 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.

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 with an expanded scope that will publish research in all areas of earth, planetary, and environmental sciences; serve the needs of the global geoscience community; and help societies of all sizes participate in Gold Open Access publishing.

GSW’s new Lithosphere receives papers in two ways: direct submissions from authors and transferred submissions from participating societies.

Direct Submissions

Submissions for Lithosphere re-opened under GSW’s management on 13 January 2020. For more information on submissions, visit

Transferred Papers

Transferred papers are 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).

Corresponding authors will be offered the opportunity to have all manuscript files, including reviewer comments, transferred directly to the GSW Lithosphere submission site if a GSA Science Editor finds the paper suitable for GSW Lithosphere. Reviewers who choose to remain anonymous will have their anonymity preserved throughout the transfer. Transferring papers with previous reviews allows GSW Lithosphere editors to process papers more efficiently, and helps reduce the duplication of effort that occurs when an already-reviewed paper goes to another journal and is sent out for review anew. (This should be welcome news for those of you who have been asked to review the same paper by more than one journal.)

By selecting to directly submit or transfer your research to GSW Lithosphere, you join this community-driven initiative and help to support the mission of this important collaboration.