Product has been added to the basket

Online First

What is Online First? | Accepted manuscripts | Published articles (version of record) | Benefits | DOIs | Email alerts | Access entitlements | Paginated journal issues or book volumes | How to cite articles published Online First

What is Online First?

Online First is a feature offered through the Geological Society’s content platform, the Lyell Collection, enabling Journal of the Geological Society and Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology & Hydrogeology articles to appear online soon after they have been accepted for publication and ahead of publication of the final issue. Accepted journal articles are posted as accepted manuscripts and then replaced by the published article (the version of record) once available.

Accepted manuscripts

In response to feedback from the research community, the Geological Society makes articles available online within 1 week of acceptance. This is conditional on receipt of a completed assignment of licence agreement and confirmation that the author has permission to include any third-party content, where applicable.

The accepted manuscript is a water-marked PDF of the accepted text and original figures. Any supplementary material is made available via a link in the html and PDF versions.

If there is an editorial reason why a manuscript should not be posted prior to publication of the corrected proof (e.g. because of a press release or media embargo) then the author should contact the journal Production Editor (this must be done before the article is accepted as the process for posting accepted manuscripts will be automatic). Authors will be reminded of this by a question asked during the submission process.

Note that the accepted manuscript is not the version of record. Please also see Continuous Publication.

Published articles (version of record)

The published article is the version of record and provides the official publication date in the citation line. These articles appear in html and PDF format with no pagination, i.e. they have been accepted for publication and are copyedited, typeset, proofed and corrected.

All versions of the article will remain available on the site, and a link to them will be available from the final version. Errors identified after volume or issue publication will be corrected by issuing an erratum.


Online First offers clear benefits to authors and researchers:

  • Accepted manuscript posting allows earlier opportunity for research to be read and cited.
  • Authors can promote their work as soon as it is accepted and posted.
  • Reduced lead time between submission and publication.
  • Access to the very latest articles in the field.
  • Greater usage and exposure of articles, including earlier citation opportunities by related works.
  • Improved opportunities for funding approval as researchers can list their work earlier.


DOIs (digital object identifiers) will be deposited for accepted manuscripts and when the version of record is available this will be published with the same DOI to ensure there is a consistent reference for citing the article. The DOI always resolves to the latest version of the article.

Each article DOI is registered with CrossRef, allowing permanent resolution to each article and giving publishers the ability to link their references to articles whenever they are cited. More information about the DOI system can be found at

Access entitlements

For Fellow access entitlements, please see the member FAQ page.

For institutional access entitlements, please see this FAQ page.

Paginated journal issues

When articles are allocated to a journal issue they are removed from the Online First page and then appear in the main journal site as complete issues or volumes. The date of first publication appears below each article title, followed by the DOI. Citations using either the DOI or the bibliographic data will resolve to the paginated final article. All versions of the article will remain available electronically.

How to cite Online First articles

For information on how to cite Online First articles, please open the Preparing Text for GSL Publications PDF and look for ‘Journal article without pagination’ and ‘Book chapter without pagination’.