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Terms of Reference:
Stratigraphy Commission of the Geological Society, London

Terms of reference

  • Represent the stratigraphical interests of the British Earth Science community through the Geological Society, and advise the Society on stratigraphical matters acting independently of any single academic, industrial or other organization.
  • To provide a strong working link between the international stratigraphical community and UK stratigraphers. 
  • Submit publications to international journals which discuss advances at the forefront of stratigraphy and/or fundamental principles of stratigraphy, and publish Geological Society Special Reports on UK stratigraphy.
  • Organise meetings which cover topics of contemporary widespread interest in stratigraphy and its applications across the spectrum of Earth Sciences.


  • To advise, nationally and internationally, on stratigraphical matters, including liaison with other learned bodies and stratigraphical groups (e.g. International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) and its subcommissions together with the British Geological Survey (BGS)).
  • To inform and promote stratigraphy to specialist and non-specialists through preparing, promoting or advising on the publication of peer reviewed papers, meetings, other publications and media (e.g website, educational materials, press releases, popular science articles).
  • To liaise with the BGS and industry to achieve consensus and provide information on the stratigraphical nomenclature of the UK.
  • To oversee the production and reviewing of the Special Report Series published by the Geological Society.
  • To maintain a Stratigraphy Commission website summarizing the activities, publications and useful stratigraphical information.


The Commission has a chair, a secretary, a publications editor (for liaison with the Geological Society Publishing House and authors of Special Reports) and a webmaster. The chair sits on the Science Committee. The Commission comprises around 20–25 members from both academia and industry. The members represent all aspects of stratigraphy and stratigraphical techniques. Members are invited to join based on their specialist knowledge and connections with other stratigraphical bodies such as the ICS.

Method of Working

The commission meet three times a year at Burlington House. The agendas include discussion on international and national stratigraphical issues, BGS statigraphical projects, developments in stratigraphy, publications in progress including the Special Reports and other publications with the Geological Society Publishing House. At regular intervals other Earth scientists are invited to speak or in some cases ask to come to the meetings to seek our views (for instance on revisions to the geological timescale).

Communication is via the meetings held at Burlington House and regular email. The production of joint manuscripts is done via email with one member of the commission taking a lead role. Members of the commission regularly encourage others outside of the commission to write manuscripts and/or contribute reviews on stratigraphical matters