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GSA Bulletin


Authors are responsible for providing manuscripts in which approved geological and other scientific terminology is used correctly and which have no grammar or spelling errors. Authors must check their manuscripts for accuracy and consistency in use of capitalization, spelling, abbreviations, and dates. You may elect to have a peer, freelance editor, or English editing service look over your paper prior to submission; a list of resources is available here. Please feel free to use this manuscript template in .doc format as a base for your submission.

Suggested Resources

The Chicago Manual of Style, University of Chicago Press,
Suggestions to Authors of the Reports of the United States Geological Survey, seventh edition (available at
Glossary of Geology, American Geosciences Institute,
Geowriting, American Geosciences Institute,
North American Stratigraphic Code, American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin (v. 89, no. 11, p. 1547-1591, November 2005; more information:
Mathematics into Type, by Ellen Swanson, updated edition, American Mathematical Society,


A brief and objective abstract of no more than 250 words should present in capsule form the paper’s content and conclusions. A topic sentence should give the overall scope and should be followed by emphasis on new information. Omit references, figure or table callouts, and criticisms.


Precisely define the contribution at the outset and present it clearly in the fewest words possible (while avoiding jargon) so that the reader may get a maximum of facts and ideas in a minimum of time. State the purpose, give minimal background information, concisely present the data that led to the conclusions, clearly differentiate fact and inference, and present justifiable conclusions and, perhaps, further implications of the conclusions. Assume that the publication's readers are familiar with the general literature and need not be told basic principles; therefore, give only minimal background and reference material. Provide only brief descriptions of methods and laboratory techniques (preferably as an Appendix). Do not describe standard methods in detail if references to the methods can be cited. Number figures and tables in the order discussed in the text.

Units of Measure

Use the International System of units (metric) in captions, illustrations, and text. Where English measurements are necessary, follow metric with English in parentheses.


Avoid footnotes and parenthetical statements. Textual footnotes that are deemed necessary should be numbered consecutively with superscripts.


Make captions precise and explain all symbols and abbreviations used. Include captions with your text rather than on the same pages as the figures.


Tables should replace text, not duplicate it. Tables should be numbered in the order discussed in the text. Submit as Word or Excel files, one table per file. See the sample table.


Title all appendixes (for example, APPENDIX 1. SAMPLE DESCRIPTIONS). Place appendixes at the end of the text before the References Cited.

Mathematical Expressions

Define your use of symbols in the text the first time each appears. Mathematical expressions and equations in text follow this format:

Math Expression Graphic

References Cited

All references mentioned in the text, figures, captions, tables, and appendixes must be listed in the References Cited section.

Click here for a printable reference guide with examples.