New GeoResJ is Elsevier’s first open-access journal in earth science

Quarterly journal, which will publish its first issue in early 2014, is accepting submissions


GeoResJ will publish its first issue in the first quarter of 2014. It's accepting submissions now.

Imagine this: you are writing a paper about the evolution of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt. You now need to find a suitable outlet for your research.

There are many considerations you must weigh when choosing which journal to submit your paper to.

In general, most authors are concerned with the reputation, audience and Impact Factor of their target journal, according to a 2012 survey by Elsevier's Research and Academic Relations group.

Another consideration for some authors is whether a journal is open access.

The survey (which had 4,225 respondents) indicated that whether a journal is open access is of more importance for authors in earth and environmental sciences than for authors in other areas, such as chemistry, material sciences or social sciences (see graphic below).

Taking this on board, the Earth & Planetary Science journals team investigated the need for a broad open-access journal through a series of surveys at the American Geoscience Union (AGU) and European Geoscience Union (EGU) conferences in 2012 and 2013, along with market research. They found that that there was considerable appetite for such a journal, and Elsevier's first open-access Earth & Planetary Science journal began to take shape.

Dr. Scott King, Professor of Geophysics at Virginia Tech University, was the first editor to join the team.

"I was very interested to be associated with a new multidisciplinary journal from Elsevier," he said, "because I feel that there is a need for more interdisciplinary journals, especially one that welcomes more technical emphasis than many current journals. (Also,) I feel that open-access journals are going to play an increasingly important role, so I wanted to help guide the content for such a journal in the geosciences area."

Whether a journal is open-access is more important in Earth & Environmental Sciences and Life Sciences. This chart is from a survey conducted by Elsevier's Research & Academic Relations group. Results are based upon 4,225 responses to a study in which over 50,000 individuals were randomly selected from the 1.2 million authors that published with Elsevier in 2009. Responses were representative of the scholarly community by discipline and geography. For this chart, the percentages shown are for those who said a journal being open access was "Extremely Important" or "Very Important" (in response to the question "Many considerations are important when deciding to which journal to submit an article. Please rate the following in terms of their importance to you." Individuals were given a range of consideration to choose from, such as reputation and Impact Factor). For reference, journal reputation was the most important consideration. A green tick means that the value is statistically significantly higher, a red tick means the value is statistically significantly lower than the total group, calculated using a Z-test of proportion at 95 percent confidence levels.

The name of the journal took a while to come up with because there are a quite a few journals with "geology or geoscience" in the title. After some Googling and a brainstorming session with Elsevier colleagues in publishing and marketing, GeoResJ was chosen as an amalgamation of Geoscience, Research and Journal.

GeoResJ will complement the existing Earth & Planetary Science portfolio of journals at Elsevier, which already offer an open-access option to authors. The journal will primarily publish original research articles and reviews, but will also feature shorter technical articles that describe cutting-edge technical developments that show promise in any geoscience field, especially in areas where innovative instrumentation technology and data analysis play a role.

In addition, GeoResJ authors will be able to link to their data in supported data repositories such as EarthChem and Pangaea.

The journal's broad scope is also reflected by the number of editors, six in total, who will reach out to their communities to solicit papers that show fundamentally new research in their particular field while also managing a rapid and rigorous peer review process.

Next steps

In the next few months, GeoResJ will focus on drawing submissions. The earth and planetary science community will have the chance to learn more about the journal at the journal's official launch at the American Geosciences Union (AGU) conference December 9 to 13 in San Francisco. Details on how to submit to the journal can be found at

GeoResJ is Elsevier 41st OA journal

With GeoResJ, Elsevier now publishes 41 peer-reviewed open-access journals, including Cell Reports and The Lancet Global Health.

Articles published in these journals will:

  • Be made immediately free to access.
  • Permit reuse as defined by the author's choice of user license.

Publishing open access is much like publishing in a subscription journal in that the basic process of submitting, peer-review and acceptance remains the same. For more information, visit

GeoResJ Editors

  • Dr. Scott King, Professor of Geophysics, Virginia Tech University, USA
  • Dr. Lyatt Jaeglé, Professor, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, USA
  • Dr. Stephan van Gasselt, Assistant Professor of Planetary Exploration, Freie Universität Berlin,
  • Dr. Steve Donovan, Professor, Department of Geology, Naturalis Biodiversity Center, the Netherlands
  • Dr. David Pyle, Professor of Earth Sciences, the University of Oxford, UK
  • Dr. Simon George, Professor of Organic Geochemistry, Macquarie University, UK

Managing Editor

  • Dr. Vasile Ersek, postdoctoral researcher, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford[/note]

Elsevier Connect Authors

Clare Lehane, PhDTobias Wesselius

Tobias Wesselius is marketing communications manager for Elsevier's Earth & Planetary Science journals (@ELSenviron). In that role, he is involved in the launch of GeoResJ. He is based in Amsterdam.

Dr. Clare Lehane is an executive publisher responsible for the Energy and Planetary Science journals portfolio at Elsevier. Based in Oxford, UK, she has been with Elsevier for seven years. Before Elsevier, she worked with a bespoke marine biology publisher in Germany, and. She has a PhD in marine ecology from University College Cork in Ireland.

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