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Guide for authors

Download a pdf of the guide for authors

Submitting copy

Geoscientist August 2018Geoscientist is a popular science magazine, not a scientific journal. Its main purpose is to entertain. All content should be written in an engaging and accessible way, using the active voice. Please remove or define all technical terms and avoid jargon, and please spell out all acronyms on first use.

Once accepted, content is edited for publication. The corresponding author will receive a proof copy of their article prior to publication.

Please submit copy in Word document format, via email to the Editor.

References and further reading

Because Geoscientist is not an academic journal, we recommend avoiding the use of references, where possible, and instead providing a short list of suggested further reading. That is, the concepts discussed should be of sufficiently general knowledge that specific citations are largely not required.

If references are essential, please cite the journal article or book within the main text in the following way:

    (Smith & colleagues, Journal Name, year)
    (Smith, Book title, year)

And provide the full reference in the list of further reading at the end of the piece, in the following format:

    Smith, A. & colleagues (year) Article title. Journal Name vol. no., page range.
    Smith, A. (year) Book title. Publisher. No. pages.

Space in print is limited, so lengthy reference lists are published online only.

Figures and illustrations

We strongly encourage submission of striking colour figures to illustrate your content. Please submit illustrations either as editable files (such as Adobe Illustrator or editable PDF documents) or in JPEG format. JPEG images must be at least 300dpi (or at least 800dpi if intended for the cover).

We also use the Shutterstock image library ( for illustrations. Please feel free to suggest suitable images from Shutterstock (but do not purchase these images).

Where specific figures are referred to in the text, please cite them as ‘Fig. 1’, ‘Fig. 2’ etc. If images are submitted purely for illustration purposes, there is no need to cite them specifically within the text.

Please provide a short caption for each figure or illustration, including a short title and brief summary of the contents of the figure.

All figures, illustrations and photographs must comply with copyright. If using third-party materials, please ensure you have permissions to reuse the illustration and please include full reference to the original source as part of the caption. For more information on copyright and permissions, please see our Information for Authors and Users section.

Measurements and units

Please use SI units (exceptions are permitted, where SI units are unavailable).



Geoscientist November 2018Each issue of Geoscientist typically contains two feature articles.

First features provide more in-depth discussion of a scientific topic and undergo informal peer-review with our Editorial Advisory Panel. First features are up to 2,500 words long, with ~8-10 illustrations and a short list of further reading.

Second features are more general thought pieces that ordinarily don’t go to the Editorial Advisory Panel (unless they are particularly controversial). Second features are up to 1,250 words, with ~6-8 figures/illustrations and a short list of further reading.

All features are assigned formal citations and digital object identifiers (DOIs), making them searchable and discoverable.

Features should be written for the general geoscientist. The most frequent reason for rejection of features is that they are not of sufficient general interest to all the Society’s Fellowship.

Title: Short and snappy
Standfirst: One- or two-sentence summary of the main argument. Typically one sentence of background information, followed by a sentence of the main, new upshot, including reference to the authors names
Introduction: Two to three short paragraphs describing the broader background to the subject (and why it is important) for non-specialists
Main text: In-depth discussion to support the main argument, with reference to supporting evidence and figures, as appropriate, divided up into a logical structure with short, informative sub-headings
Conclusion: The piece should end with one or two paragraphs that reiterate the main argument and discuss directions for the future

Download an example first feature here
Download an example second feature here

Soapbox (opinion piece)

(Fellows only)
Want to shout your geoscientific opinion from the rooftops? If so, we would like to hear from you. Strong opinions colourfully expressed are preferred. No self-promotion or advertising allowed.

Soapbox pieces must be 500 words long. They should include an engaging title and a short standfirst stating the author’s name and the main argument, followed by the main text, divided by short sub-headings.

Soapbox requires a portrait of the author.  Please send a JPEG image of at least 300dpi.

Download an example soapbox here

Meeting report

Meeting reports provide a brief, broadly accessible review of the main upshots from an interesting geoscience conference, meeting or workshop (whether organised by the Geological Society or independently).

Meeting reports are typically one page (~750 words) or two pages (~1,200 words), with one or two small, striking images, and can include a short list of further reading.

Title: Short and catchy
Standfirst: A one- or two-sentence summary of the main upshot of the meeting
Main text: A brief introductory paragraph that describes the main topic in lay terms (to ease in non-specialist readers) and introduces the meeting (including a web link, if possible), followed by a short summary of the main upshots from two to three key interesting talks. Final paragraphs give your own take on the conference, the emerging view(s) from the meeting and the direction the field is moving in. The text is divided up by short sub-headings

Download an example meeting report here


Geoscientist June 2019A forum for geoscientists to share their professional experiences and advice with, for example, students, early career professionals, those going through chartership or acting as sponsors. Our Fellowship is a valuable source of knowledge—by sharing advice in the careers section, Fellows can help smooth the path for early career geoscientists following in their footsteps.

Careers articles are typically one page (~750 words) or two pages (~1,200 words), with one or two small, striking images, and can include a short list of further reading.

Download an example careers article here


(Fellows only)
Geoscientist welcomes readers’ letters. All letters to Geoscientist (except those that are defamatory or fail to make sense) are published first on the letters page of the website. A selection of letters is included in the magazine, as space permits and at the Editor’s discretion.

Letters should express a cogent opinion in reaction to a topical issue or magazine content, and should contribute new material or ideas. They should be fewer than 300 words long.

Book Reviews

(Fellows only)
Books available for review are listed on the Books & Arts page. If you wish to review a book, please contact the Editor to check that the book is still available.

Book reviews are 400 words long. They are published online first at and in print as space permits.


A forward listing of Society activities (including Specialist Groups, Joint Associations and Regional Groups), as well as activities going on in the broader geoscience community.

Please note that print space in Geoscientist is limited. We can often only list those events taking place during the same month as the issue and cannot guarantee that all events will be listed in print.

All event and calendar information from Society Groups and Associations should be uploaded via the ‘Submit an event’ button on the Society’s events page or sent to the Web Team, for inclusion in the first instance on the website. To have your event in the printed magazine Calendar, you must ensure that it is listed here at least six weeks prior to the publication of the issue that corresponds to the month of the event.


The Geoscientist Editor is not responsible for advertising.

•    For conference advertising (and general promotion), please contact the Events Team
•    For book and journal advertising, please contact the Publishing House
•    For external advertising, please contact Alex Killen at Century One publishing

Please see here for more information on advertising and rates.

Book Reviews

Disaster Deferred - a new view of Earthquake Hazards in the New Madrid Seismic Zone. (2012) by Seth Stein

Geoscientist has a number of books available for Fellows to review. We also invite publishers to send us books to be reviewed.