Product has been added to the basket

Open Access Publishing

Open Access

The Geological Society’s Open Access policy was agreed in February 2013. Authors submitting papers for publication in online journals and books have the option to make their published article fully Open Access (sometimes called ‘Gold Open Access’) on payment of a fee.

Read the Open Access Policy

Open Access articles are published online in the usual way, but are made freely available to any user and have different terms and conditions of use than other articles in the Lyell Collection.



How can I find Open Access articles?

You can view Open Access articles in the Lyell Collection here. The articles will also be Open Access in GeoScienceWorld, if the journal is included in that collection.


How can I tell if an article is Open Access?

Open Access articles have an Open Access logo against the article in the online table of contents and on the first page of the online article. Such articles are subject to the Creative Commons CC-BY license (see below).

The Lyell Collection also includes free articles without the Open Access logo (for example, the introductory chapters of books). Those articles can be accessed by all, but the regular terms and conditions of use apply.


What can I do with an Open Access article?

Geological Society Open Access articles are published under the Creative Commons CC-BY License. This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon the work, even commercially, as long as they credit the author for the original creation. This license allows maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.

Authors are still bound by the Society’s code of publishing ethics. The Creative Commons license is not a passport to duplicate/redundant publication


Are subscription rates discounted in relation to Open Access income?

GSL is committed to responsible subscription pricing. Should the volume of open access content in any title rise to significant levels, the Society will recognise and accommodate the associated open access income when setting its annual prices.


How much does it cost?

The Open Access Article Processing Charge can be found on the Author Information page of the relevant journal or book series. A discount is available to Fellows of the Geological Society for GSL-owned journals (where the first author or at least half the authors are Fellows). There are also discounts for members of AAG and EAGE for GEEA and Petroleum Geoscience, respectively. A 50% discount is available where all the authors on an article are currently in an eligible research institution in an eligible developing country. No other discounts are available.


Which articles are eligible?

Any article that is to be published online in the Lyell Collection will be eligible, including those published for partner societies. The Society publishes a small number of books that are not in the Lyell Collection, and Open Access publishing will not be available for those titles.


How do I select this option?

There will be a section in the online submission form allowing authors to choose Open Access.

For journals that do not use online submission, authors will be sent a form when the Publishing House starts preparing the article for publication.


Will paying for Open Access make any difference to the review process or publication time?

The article will go through the peer-review and production process in the same way as other articles. No preferential treatment will be offered other than free access and use of the published article.


Will the GSL Open Access policy comply with funding requirements?

As the Society uses the most liberal of the Creative Commons licenses, its Open Access policy should satisfy research-funding bodies (included RCUK) who require research that they fund to be Open Access. More information about RCUK policy can be found on their website: www.rcuk.ac.uk/research/openaccess/

The Society’s understanding is that its Gold Open Access articles will be eligible for inclusion in the 2020 UK REF.

If you are required to make your research Open Access, but do not have funds, the Society’s regular terms and conditions allow you to post your finally accepted manuscript online, which complies with the UK ‘Green Open Access’ criteria. 


Can I use material from elsewhere in my Open Access article?

Authors should check that any material that they use in their article that was not created by them has full permission to publish under the CC-BY license. Some picture libraries and other copyright holders might have policies against commercial reuse. You cannot use those figures in a Geological Society Open Access article. All material in the article must be compliant with the CC-BY license.