Open Access

GSA's Policies on Open Access

The Geological Society of America (GSA) has adopted a hybrid approach to open access publication with a combination of Gold (author pays) Open Access, Green (repository) Open Access, and access-controlled articles.

As of January 2018, the journal Geosphere became 100% Gold Open Access, with an article publication charge (APC) of US$1,750 per accepted paper. GSA members receive a US$200 discount on this APC. There are no other color or page charges, and a waiver system is in place. No manuscript will be rejected for an author's inability to pay.

Geosphere papers published on or after 1 January 2018 will be published under the terms of the CC-BY-NC license. If an author wants their paper to have a CC-BY license, the APC is increased to US$2,750.

Authors submitting papers to Geology, GSA Bulletin, or to GSA books may choose to pay an APC of US$2,800 for Gold Open Access. GSA Members receive a US$500 discount on this APC. Geology authors who pay for Gold Open Access won’t be assessed that journal’s publication fee (more information on fees). Payment is required after acceptance of the article for publication and must be received prior to online publication. To make clear the separation between scientific editorial decision-making and economic considerations, the option to publish an article under Gold Open Access is made to corresponding authors after peer-review and acceptance of an article for publication.

Green Open Access: All Geology, GSA Bulletin, and GSA Books manuscripts may be published under the terms of Green Open Access. Authors may post a copy of the accepted (i.e., post-peer review) version of their paper (along with a link to the article online at in a repository of their choice or to their personal website (including under a CC-BY license) as soon as it has been formally accepted by GSA. GSA’s final version (the published PDF) cannot be posted under the terms of Green Open Access.

GSA Today is an open access publication, and there are no required fees to publish in this journal.

To view the open access articles of the various journals, use the below links:


A waiver system is in place for authors who are unable to pay the article publication fee. Requests are handled on a case-by-case basis. Authors requesting a waiver may be asked some or all of the following questions. In all cases, no manuscript will be rejected for an author's inability to pay.

  • If your paper acknowledges funding, please provide evidence that the funding does not cover the cost of publication.
  • Have you (or your coauthors) sought or can you seek funding internally at your organization to cover publication fees?
  • Is your institution a member of the Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity?
  • Are you or your coauthors able to pay a portion of the publication fee?
  • Is the first or corresponding author from a country listed as “low- or lower middle–income economy” by the World Bank (

Author Responsibilities

GSA cannot assume responsibility for advising authors on compliance with any requirements or obligations placed upon them by their funder or employer regarding open access publication. In all cases, it is the author's responsibility to ensure that their chosen route to publication is compliant.

Since some copyright holders might have policies against commercial reuse, authors wishing to have their article published via the Gold Open Access CC-BY license should check to be sure that any material they use in their article that was not created by them may be published under the CC-BY license. GSA cannot advise on such issues, nor undertake negotiations with rights holders on an author's behalf. Also, authors are still bound by GSA’s Ethical Guidelines for Publication; the Creative Commons licenses are not an endorsement for duplicate publication.