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Open Access Articles | Other Articles | Re-publishing material from Geological Society of London copyright | Using material from journals published by GSL on behalf of other societies | BGS authored works | Millennium Atlas |  Use of PDFs | Obtaining a PDF of an article | Supplementary material | Photocopying and digital copying | Lecture and presentations 

Using other GSL material - contact information for requests to use Geoscientist magazine content, web images (including The Rock Cycle), the GSL logo or content from the Picture Library, Society Archives or art collection.

Open Access Articles 

Articles that have the Open Access padlock logo can be used freely without permission. However, if you re-use figures or other parts of the article you must acknowledge the author and the source of the material. If your article uses more than 25% of an Open Access article or if more than 25% of your article comes from an Open Access article it could constitute duplicate publication and be in contravention of normal publishing ethics.

Articles labelled ‘Free Access’ are not the same as Open Access and are subject to the conditions below.

Open Access lock logo


Other Articles

All articles published in Geological Society books and journals that do not have the Open Access padlock logo, including ones that are free to access online, are subject to the conditions below.

Please check that GSL is the original publisher and that the material required has not been taken from another source. For a figure that has been modified or re-drawn in a GSL publication the rights are still held by the original copyright holder. In those cases, you must contact the original rights holder.

Re-publishing material from Geological Society of London copyright

Using material from GSL publications

Extensive quotation (more than c. 100 words) and reproduction of previously published illustrations (even if re-drawn) require permission from the rights holder (GSL in this case). In the UK, material remains in copyright until 70 years after the death of the author.

Material that can be used without permission:

Authors may re-use their own material without permission subject to the exceptions listed below. They may include the whole article in a PhD or other thesis provided that it will not be published, and that the original source is fully acknowledged in the standard form (see below for examples). If the thesis is to be included in the institution’s electronic repository or other online host, authors must use their own finally accepted version, not the typeset PDF (unless it is Gold Open Access). Please also see Copyright Policy and Terms of Use for Authors and Sharing your article. Authors may not re-publish their whole article, or a substantial part of it, without permission. Such permission will be granted only in exceptional circumstances.

Anyone may use up to three items (text extracts of 100 words or less, figures or tables) from GSL published material without permission or charge provided that a proper acknowledgement of source is made (see below for examples). If formal permission is required for three items or less please apply via the Copyright Clearance Center or PLS (see details below).

The abstracts of articles can be reproduced without permission or fees provided that a full reference and a link to the article abstract page are included.

GSL is not usually the rights holder for cover photographs, and permission must be sought from the owner/photographer.

If your article forms part of a multi-author book, the publisher must ensure that the total number of items from GSL publications does not exceed three (this does not apply to journal issues).

Re-using material in another GSL publication

You may use material from GSL publications in another GSL publication without permission from GSL subject to the exceptions listed below. However, if there are more than three items from an individual article, you must seek the author’s consent directly. If they do not respond within four weeks, you can assume that consent is given.


You may not use more than 25% of any GSL published article in a single publication and no publication should contain more than 25% in total from GSL publications. This does not prevent the inclusion of whole articles in course packs and the like (which do not constitute republication).

You may not post a typeset PDF of a GSL article on any website, repository or server (see Lyell Collection terms and conditions for more information). 

Example acknowledgement of source

Example 1.
Figure caption: ‘Fig. 1. Simplified geological map (from Bolle et al. 2020, fig. 2).’ 
– with the reference to ‘Bolle, O., Diot, H., Fransen, W. and Higgins, M.D. 2020. Central sagging of a giant mafic intrusion: the Ediacaran Sept Îles Layered Intrusion (Québec, Canada). Journal of the Geological Society, London, 178, jgs2020-029,’ included in the reference list.

Example 2.
Figure caption: ‘Fig. 2. Increase in citations of palaeoecological articles over the years 2000–15 (modified from van Asperen et al. 2020, fig. 1).’
– with the reference to ‘van Asperen, E.N., Perrotti, A. and Baker, A. 2020. Coprophilous fungal spores: NPPs for the study of past megaherbivores. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 511,’ included in the reference list.

GSL adheres to the STM Permissions Guidelines

The STM guidelines are designed to facilitate re-use of limited amounts of material from published works free of charge between STM signatory publishers and does not require formal permission between these publishers but does require acknowledgement of the original publication. A list of STM signatories to these guidelines
  • Anyone may use up to three figures (including tables) from a single journal article or book chapter.
  • No more than five figures from a whole book or journal issue/edition may be used
  • No more than six figures may be used from an annual journal volume
  • No more than 30 figures from GSL publications may be used in a book or multi-author volume
  • Content may not be modified in any way without permission

Uses where permission is required

For more than three items, please use the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) or Publishers' Licensing Services (PLS) to obtain a quote and pay for permission. 

CCC - You can search CCC Marketplace by title, DOI, ISSN or author. Please register/sign in to apply for permission. CCC help pages.

PLS - You can search PLSclear by title, ISBN/ISSN, author, or keyword. Please register/sign in to apply for permission. There is a PLSclear video guide and you can also visit the PLSclear help portal should you need assistance.

If there are more than three items from an individual article, you must also seek the author’s consent. If they do not respond within four weeks, you can assume consent. You should contact the author at the address on the original article, or use Google Scholar or other search engine to trace them.

Authors are responsible for ensuring that their correspondence gets forwarded when they move. For papers published before 1980, a more pragmatic approach can be taken with author consent. If you want GSL to check the authors’ contact details there may be a charge for the service and there is no guarantee that we have the correct address.

For enquiries please email The Geological Society.

Using material from journals published by GSL on behalf of other societies

The co-published journals Petroleum Geoscience, Geoenergy and Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis are handled in the same way as other GSL publications. 

Permission requests for Scottish Journal of Geology, Transactions of the Edinburgh or Glasgow Geological Societies (SJG editorial board) and Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society (PYGS editorial board) should be addressed to the editor of the journal. For Journal of Micropalaeontology please see the journal website

For Earth Science, Systems and Society please see the ES3 site

Geology Today is published for GSL and GA by Wiley. Please see their website for permission details.

British Geological Survey authored works

For permission to re-use content from BGS authored works please see BGS Intellectual Property Rights for contact information.

Millennium Atlas

The print edition of the Millennium Atlas is GSL copyright. For the GIS edition please contact Exploration Geoscience Ltd.

Use of PDFs

Information on the use of PDFs by others can be found in the Lyell Collection pages.

Authors: Information on the use of PDFs and other versions of your paper can be found on our Copyright and Terms of Use page.

Obtaining a PDF of an article

Non-subscribers should use the Pay-Per-View facility to purchase access to the article PDF from the Lyell Collection. Once you have access, you will be able to download and save a copy within the purchased access period (for your personal use only).

All authors will receive an eprint notification email with instructions detailing how to access and download their published paper from the Lyell Collection. The email will be sent when your accepted manuscript is posted online. Authors should keep the link provided so they can access the Version of Record and issue versions of the paper. How authors can share their article.

We do not provide free access to articles directly to other individuals.

If you are at an approved institution in a developing country then further access information can be found here.

Supplementary material

Most supplementary material items on the Geological Society figshare portal  are licensed under the CC-BY license. They are openly available, but an appropriate credit including the authors, title, source link, license link and an indication of any changes made, must be given to the original item in all cases.

Example: Perdiou, A., Thibault, N., Anderskouv, K., van Buchem, F., Buijs, G. J. A., Bjerrum, C. J. 2015. Orbital calibration of the late Campanian carbon isotope event in the North Sea. figshare, used under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence 4.0

Please visit Creative Commons and Best practices for attribution for more information and guidance.

Datasets on the Geological Society figshare portal are licensed under the CC0 license. Others can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. The moral responsibility to cite the source remains, as is common in scientific research, although CC0 does not legally require attribution.

Photocopying and digital copying

You may make limited hard copies of an article for your own research or educational purposes (not including course packs) if you have access rights to the material. You do not need to request permission to do this. For more extensive copying or digital reproduction, you need to obtain a licence from the Copyright Licensing Agency, the Copyright Clearance Center or from your local reproduction rights agency.

Lecture and presentations

You may include material from Society copyright in a visual presentation if you have access rights to the material and provided that you will not circulate digital or hard copies of your presentation. You do not need to request permission to do this. If you wish to circulate copies of your presentation to students or others, please obtain ‘course-pack’ permission from the Copyright Licensing Agency or the Copyright Clearance Center or from your local reproduction rights agency.

Using other GSL material