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Find Your Science at GSA
Geology Guidelines
Submission, Review, and Acceptance
Supplemental Material
Editorial Policy, Copyright, and Costs
Manuscript Sizing
Tables and Figures
Cover Photo
Contact Information
Ethical Guidelines
Open Access



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. 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,


The abstract should present information and results in capsule form and should be brief and objective, containing within a 250 word maximum the content and conclusions of the paper. The topic sentence should give the overall scope and should be followed by emphasis on new information. Omit references, criticisms, drawings, and diagrams.


Precisely define the contribution at the outset and present it clearly in the fewest words possible (but avoid jargon), so that the reader may get a maximum of facts and ideas in a minimum of time. State the purpose, give a minimum of background, 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. The manuscript should provide descriptions of methods and/or laboratory techniques sufficient for a reader to understand the way in which the data were collected. (More detailed methods, if appropriate, can be provided as supplementary information.) Do not describe standard methods in detail if references to the methods can be cited. Please avoid statements of future work or claims of priority.

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 and also typed double-spaced.


Make captions precise and explain all symbols and abbreviations used. Type captions in consecutive order, double-spaced. Do not put captions and figures on the same page.


Tables should replace text, not duplicate it. They should be numbered consecutively, and each must be typed on a separate page. See the sample table for further instructions.

Sample Locations

Authors must provide positional information on all locations where data have been collected, including sample sites and transect locations.

Geology expects that specific locations—in decimal degree format, with the associated projection information (e.g. WGS84 or NAD 27)—will be provided in data tables and/or figure captions, as appropriate, in addition to graphical representation on maps, so that all data, whether placed in a Supplemental Information file or submitted to a data repository, have locational metadata.

We recognize that sometimes (for example, in the case of proprietary data or sensitive mineral or fossil locations) it may not be appropriate to provide precise location information. In such rare cases, authors should explain the situation in their cover letter to the Science Editor, and provide as much location information as is possible.

If location information is imprecise or unknown (for example, in the case of archived samples in museum or other collections), authors should provide the current location of the material and any available information on provenance.

A basic location figure must be included with the manuscript; detailed sample locations can be provided in a supplementary file.


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

Mathematical Expressions

Identify mathematical symbols -- for example, "lower-case alpha," "upper-case beta," "vector," "zero," "oh," "one," "el." Underline all variables (except vectors) to indicate that they are to be typeset in italics. 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.