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How to propose a volume

Information required for edited volumesAdvice on preparing a successful proposal Information required for non-edited volumesAssessment process | Information required for a Proposal for a volume in Geoscience in Practice | Enquires and proposals

The focus of the Society’s commissioning is acquiring books in our main Lyell Collection and GSW ebook series, primarily:

  • Special Publications
  • Engineering Geology Special Publications
  • Memoirs
  • Geoscience in Practice

The Society has arrangements with the following organisations for the publications of books arising from their activities:

  • IUGS
  • TMS
  • SCAR
  • IASC
  • BSG

More information on the main book series, the publishing arrangements and other books that the Society publishes can be found on the main books page.

All book proposals should be submitted by email to the Head of Editorial Development, David Boyt, via

Information required for edited volumes

Please submit a Word document with the following information:

  • Title
  • Editors names and addresses
  • Meeting date and organizing body (if appropriate)
  • A brief description of the aims of the book
  • List of paper/chapter titles and authors
  • Three people who could review the proposal 

Advice on preparing a successful proposal

Title: please make it as succinct as possible whilst conveying the subject covered. You can have a subtitle. It needs to make the content clear to all potential purchasers, including librarians, throughout the world.

Editors: the ideal number is one editor per six papers expected. If you wish to have a larger number of editors, please explain why this is necessary.  Experience shows that a greater ratio of editors to papers does not lead to a more efficient review process.

All editors are expected to be involved in the review process. If you plan to include ‘honorary’ editors, please explain why. An example of a valid reason for an inactive editor is where one person has taken the lead in conference organisation and the others will manage the publication. Editors who are not actively involved will not automatically receive editor benefits.

All editors must be willing and able to use the online submission system and check regularly for progress.

Meeting date and organizing body: please list the date of the conference (if there was one) together with the institution that organised it. If your volume arises from an activity related to one of our partner organizations, please list that here.

Aims of the volume:  please provide 150-200 words explaining what topics the volume will cover, why it is timely and who it is aimed at.

List of paper/chapter titles and authors: The proposal can be based on your meeting programme, but you should format the list of papers to reflect the intended structure of the book. We understand that there may some uncertainty about which papers will be submitted and accepted at this stage. You should also indicate what steps would be taken to fill any gaps in order to produce a balanced volume. The Society will not publish books that are obviously proceedings volumes.

The editors will be required to provide an introduction that provides a review of the topic as well as an overview of the volume and this should be listed.

Please list all the authors for each chapter (not ‘et al.’) and give their affiliations (full address not needed).

Proposal reviewers: please provide the names, affiliations and email addresses of three people who are suitably qualified to comment on the proposal. They must not be authors or colleagues of the editors.

Timing: the ideal time to submit a proposal arising from a meeting is shortly after the abstract deadline. You can get preliminary feedback from the Commissioning Editor in advance, and if that is positive it is acceptable to say ‘We hope to include selected papers in a GSL Special Publication subject to normal review procedures’, or words to that effect.

Information required for non-edited volumes

  • Title
  • Table of contents
  • Names and address of all the authors
  • A brief summary of the aims and scope of the book
  • Two sample chapters if available
  • The approximate number of manuscript pages and diagrams

We would strongly recommend that you contact the Head of Editorial Development via before committing time and resources to writing your volume.

Assessment process

Once we have the full proposal, it takes about 4–6 weeks to reach a decision. Our appraisal involves internal and external review and a financial assessment. Once we have completed this, the proposal and reviews are circulated to the Books Editorial Committee with a recommendation.

The Society is dependent on surpluses from publishing activity, and proposals must satisfy economic as well as scientific criteria.

If the review process identifies any weaknesses in your proposal, you will be given the opportunity to comment before the proposal is circulated to the BEC. Sometimes a revised proposal is requested.

Any enquiries about book proposals should be made to the Head of Editorial Development, David Boyt, via

Information required for a Proposal for a volume in Geoscience in Practice

Key things to include:

  • Title 
  • Editor(s) names and contact information
  • A brief outline of the aims and scope of the volume, and how it fits within the context of the series.
  • Key audience
  • Related titles
  • Proposed approximate authoring timeline
  • Name, affiliation and contact information for x3 people who could review the proposal
  • And a preliminary structured list of:
  • Authors expected to contribute to the volume and their affiliation(s)
  • Chapter titles
  • Brief description of the proposed contents of each chapter.
  • Proposed length

Advice on preparing a successful Geoscience in Practice Volume

Volumes in the Geoscience in Practice series can cover the application of any aspect of Geoscience. The series is specifically designed to focus entirely on how to approach and use geoscience techniques rather than the theory. In other words, each volume is a practical handbook. To support the practical application of theory, we encourage the use of references and further reading lists throughout the volumes. The volumes should be designed to be inclusive and accessible.

Each volume in this series runs to a maximum of 350 A4 content pages at 600 words per page, and so thought should be given to the number and length of chapters when drafting a proposal.

The series incorporates the use of:
  • A specially designed attractive and accessible layout to allow ease of access to the information for the reader
  • Full colour figures ranging in size from full A4page to marginal
  • Tables ranging in size from full A4 page to marginal
  • Worked examples which are globally relevant and may represent nonideal situations where challenges have been overcome
  • A wide margin on each page to include top tips/ marginal figures/ check lists/ icons/ figure and table captions
  • Flow charts
  • Further reading and reference lists for each chapter
  • Accompanying website material via Figshare if required.
A suggested structure for each chapter is:
  • Very brief overview of the technique, with tabulated references to key publications that cover the theory for any reader requiring more information on the technique. If required for understanding, a table covering the history of development of the technique and the key historical references
  • Substantive section(s) explaining how to apply the technique illustrated with one or more worked examples together with figures, tables, top tips and checklists as required. In order to provide a balanced and holistic view, these sections should, in particular, include: discussion of the advantages and limitations of the technique, and comparison with other techniques where applicable. The use of short, worked examples is strongly encouraged.
  • Considerations for sampling when applying this technique if applicable
  • Concluding remarks and further reading.

Production, support, marketing and global distribution

Every volume will have, on hand, the personalised support and expertise of the series editor and academic lead of the first volume, Angela L. Coe, together with the Geological Society Publishing House. The publishing house support will include editorial liaison and input, oversight of the submission and review of content, and marketing (through conferences, the Society online platform, fellowship, specialist groups and social media, and so forth).

The books in the series will be published in print and online via Geoscience World – readers will have the option to access the whole book or individual chapters, as they wish. Editors also have the option to create a companion website for hosting additional resources related to the book.

Timeline and details

We advise that editors plan a realistic timeline, and schedule online or face to face meetings with all authors to ensure the book is internally coherent. Further tailored advice on effective book production can be provided. Each volume will be independently reviewed before passing through the 6 month GSPH production process.


Enquires and proposals can be sent to the Head of Editorial Development, David Boyt, via