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Each publishing house has its own particular style for reference lists and one publisher may differ from another in the information it requires an author to include to complete a reference. While we may be preaching to the converted, we thought it might be useful to remind our authors of Geological Society style. After all, if your manuscript is complete and everything is in order when you submit, your article will process more smoothly through our system.

We use the Harvard System (author–date) in all our book series and journals.

  • If you cite a reference, you must supply full details of this source in the reference list and, correspondingly, if you have a reference in the list, you should have a textual citation.Full details of a journal reference are essentially author name(s), date of publication, article title, journal title, volume number, page range, DOI.
Schofield, N., Heaton, L., Holford, S.P., Archer, S.G., Jackson, C.A.-L. & Jolley, D.W. 2012. Seismic imaging of 'broken bridges': linking seismic to outcrop-scale investigations of intrusive magma lobes. Journal of the Geological Society, London, 169, 421–426,
  • Full details of a book reference are essentially author name(s), date of publication, book title, publisher name and place of publication.

Brenchley, P.J. & Rawson, P.F. (eds) 2006. The Geology of England and Wales. 2nd edn. Geological Society, London.  

  • Full details of an article in an edited book reference are essentially author name(s), date of publication, article/chapter title, book title, editor(s) name(s), publisher name, place of publication or series name and volume number, page range, DOI.

Omma, J.E., Pease, V. & Scott, R.A. 2011. U–Pb SIMS zircon geochronology of Triassic and Jurassic sandstones on northwestern Axel Heiberg Island, northern Sverdrup Basin, Arctic Canada. In: Spencer, A.M., Embry, A.F., Gautier, D.L., Stoupakova, A.V. & Sørensen, K. (eds) Arctic Petroleum Geology. Geological Society, London, Memoirs, 35, 123–127,

  • In your text citation, if you have a string of references, cite these in chronological rather than alphabetical order (e.g. Moustafa 1987a, b, 1996; Patton et al. 1994; Hardy & McClay 1997).
  • If you cite a personal communication or observation, please supply the author name and year (e.g. J.S. Smith, pers. comm. 2009). Note that information obtained privately must not be used or reported without explicit, written permission from the party from whom the information originated. This written evidence should be supplied with your manuscript on submission.
  • In the reference list, if your reference has more than 7 authors, please use the first two names followed by ‘et al.’.
  • Don’t abbreviate journal titles.
  • The Geological Society of London is a registered Charity no. 210161
  • You don’t have to include the issue number as well as the volume number in a journal reference.
  • Don’t include the total page extents of any book references, but do include the page numbers of any articles or chapters within an edited book.
  • Do include the publisher and place of publication of a book reference but, if the book is from a well-known series, you can omit this information (e.g. Geological Society of America Special Papers, SEPM Special Publications, American Association of Petroleum Geologists Studies in Geology).
  • If you abbreviate American Association of Petroleum Geologists to AAPG or Geological Society of America to GSA be consistent throughout the reference list.
  • Do include the DOI where possible.

Note on DOIs

If you include a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) with your reference, readers can click to link out automatically to that reference once your paper has published online. This link will work in both the PDF and the full-text HTML versions of your online article.

If you don’t include DOIs on all your references, we will run your reference list through Crossref’s ‘Link References service’ to add in DOIs wherever possible. If we can’t add a DOI, readers of the HTML version of your article may still be able to link out to the reference via a scientific citation indexing service such as Web of Science, or the Google Scholar search engine, or via CrossRef. Note that we can add DOIs, Web of Science and CrossRef links only if the information in your reference is 100% correct, i.e. if you’ve got the wrong volume or page numbers in your reference or the journal title is slightly wrong, then we won’t be able to assign those links.

Supplying the DOI is the most foolproof way of enabling readers to access your references quickly and accurately. DOIs are guaranteed never to change.

If you want to learn more about DOIs, please visit

Best wishes 

The Production Team