Product has been added to the basket

Information for Authors - Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology

ScopeKey points | Submission | Page format | Colour charges | Open accessTechnical Note | Photographic Feature | Case Study | Discussion | Refereeing and editing | Production | Offprints | Image disclaimer | William Dearman Early Career Award | Keep in touch

Scope of the journal

QJEGH is an established international journal featuring papers on geology as applied to civil engineering mining practice and water resources. Papers are invited from, and about, all areas of the world on engineering geology and hydrogeology topics. This includes but is not limited to: applied geophysics, engineering geomorphology, environmental geology, hydrogeology, groundwater quality, ground source heat, contaminated land, waste management, land use planning, geotechnics, rock mechanics, geomaterials and geological hazards.

Article types for this journal are research papers, case histories, review articles, technical notes, photographic features, discussions, thematic sets and book reviews.

Key points to consider before you submit

Preparing your paper
Guidelines for preparing text and illustrations can be found in the box to the right of this page. Those apply to all GSL publications. Detail of page size, colour and Open Access costs, which are specific to this journal are below. 

We welcome papers from authors in all countries, but if you are not fluent in English please seek assistance before submission. There are resources for authors here, some of which are written in other languages. 


We expect all authors, reviewers and editors to comply with the Society’s Code of Publishing Ethics. Please ensure that you have read, understood and complied with this, particularly the sections on authors and sample collection. You will be asked to confirm this when you submit your paper.

The Society now runs automatic plagiarism checks on submissions to all journals and those books using online submission. The checks will occur upon submission of a new manuscript. 

Submission or publication elsewhere is not acceptable while your paper is under consideration for QJEGH. Dual submission and publication are serious breaches of widely accepted publishing ethics. 

The Society’s policy on corrections and retractions can be found in the CrossMark Policy.

Publishing agreement and terms of use

As part of the submission process, you (or your employer) will be asked to grant the Society an exclusive licence to publish and accept the terms and conditions for use of your final PDF. If the manuscript is not accepted by the Geological Society of London or withdrawn prior to acceptance by the Geological Society of London, this agreement will be null and void.
  • You can reuse your figures and data without permission
  • You can post your original version at any time
  • You can post the refereed manuscript version 12 months after publication
  • You can pay to make your paper Open Access (see below)
  • You cannot post the final PDF or proofs at any time unless you have paid for Open Access
More information on the licence can be found in the Copyright Policy.

More information on reusing your material can be found in the permissions section.

If you have not already done so, we encourage you to register for an ORCID iD. You can use your iD to log into our submission system and many others. More information can be found on the ORCID website.


All submissions to QJEGH should be made online via Full instructions and a tutorial can be found within that site.

Before submitting a manuscript, it is recommended that you have the following to hand:
  • all authors' first, middle names/initials and last names
  • all authors' email addresses
  • text file in Word or RTF formats
  • tables in XLS, CSV or DOC formats
  • figures/images in TIF, EPS, PDF or JPG formats (see note on file size)
  • 3D images, please read the instructions at
  • supplementary data files
  • covering letter (which the referees will see)
  • abstracts of any related papers that you have in press or in review
Please have the text file as a separate file. You may put all other files in one folder. You can upload a ZIP file to the system and it will be automatically unpacked.

Note that there is a file-size limit of 10 MB to keep the merged PDFs manageable for editing and review. If your files are bigger, please make smaller versions for review and we will request the high-resolution files off-system when your paper is accepted.

The submission package will guide you through the processes for submitting your files and confirmation/approval.

Normally papers should not exceed ten typeset pages, including references, tables and figures: there are c. 1000 words on a printed page. Papers longer than 12 pages require special editorial approval. Don't forget to make an allowance for figures and tables, and allow a quarter page for the title, authors and affiliations.

Papers should be arranged as follows:
  • Title: brief and specific; followed by name(s) and address(es) of authors (including email address of corresponding author)
  • Abstract: this must be intelligible without reference to the paper, and should not exceed 200 words. Figures are not allowed in the Abstract
  • Main body of paper: subdivided into 1st, 2nd and 3rd order headings; omit heading 'Introduction'
  • Acknowledgements
  • Funding
  • Appendices: see Supplementary Data
  • References: in full; authors' names must be keyed as capitals and lower case
  • Tables
  • Figure captions
  • Figures (10 MB maximum) in separate files

Please be prepared to upload a single text file (.doc or .doc compatible) containing your manuscript.  You can upload a ZIP file with your table, figures and supplementary data and the system will automatically unpack it.

Page format

Please submit the paper as single column double-line spaced text, line numbers down the left hand side are useful for reviewing purposes. Place every Figure and Table on separate pages along with the accompanying caption.

In the final typeset version the main text is in double column format. Final printed page size: 297 mm deep by 210 mm wide. Maximum final size of illustrations: 254 mm deep by 176 mm wide. Single column width: 84 mm. Mid-width figures (caption at side): 120mm. Number of words per page: 1100.

Tips for calculating length
Titles, authors and affiliations: for a short title and one author, allow 100 words; for a longer title and/or several authors and affiliations, allow up to 300 words.

Abstract: straightforward word count

Text: straightforward word count (1100 words = 1 page)

References: allow 50 references per page

Figures: single column – estimate ¼ or ½ page depending on depth of figure; for double and 1½ column figures – estimate ½ or 1 page depending on depth of figure. Landscape figures = 1 page

Figure captions: straightforward word count unless it is a 1½ column figure, in which case don't include caption in count.

Tables: across one column (max total 65 characters width including three character space between each column) – estimate ¼ or ½ page depending on length of table; across two columns – estimate ½ or 1 page depending on the length of the table. Landscape tables = 1 page.

Colour charges

From 2018 there will be no charges for colour figures in this journal.

Open Access publishing

Authors may choose to make their article fully Open Access (sometimes called ‘Gold Open Access’) on payment of an Article Processing Charge.

  • For Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology the APC is £1800/$3600.
  • Articles where the first author or at least half the authors are Fellows of the Geological Society are entitled to a 25% discount.
  • Authors at institutions that have signed a read and publish agreement with the Geological Society of London may qualify for an APC discount. The list of qualifying institutions can be found at:
  • There is a 50% discount for articles where all the authors are at a research institution in a developing country.

More information on the Society’s policy can be found at

You can select Open Access when you submit your article online. You do not need to pay until after your article is accepted. There will be a link to the payment authorization form in the acceptance letter.

If you require Open Access but cannot pay the APC, the Geological Society also supports ‘Green Open Access’, where you can post your final post-refereed version of the article to a website or repository 12 months after the online publication date.

Authors must not post a typeset proof or final version to any website or repository unless the article is fully Open Access.

Technical Note

Technical Notes are short communications (normally six pages or less) that present updates to well-established work or principles, novel or emerging ideas, short case studies or the results of recently completed research, or ongoing work that is of immediate interest to the engineering geological and/or hydrogeological community. For an example, click here.

Photographic Feature

Photographic Features are intended to allow authors to produce articles that are driven by illustrations of features, processes, etc. and that will be of interest to the readership. Such Photographic Features should illustrate the exceptional, whether that exception is in relation to events, features, processes or the exceptional quality and/or observations made.

The balance between illustration and text is flexible but as a minimum the text must be sufficient to adequately describe the imagery, set it in context and draw some meaningful observations/conclusions regarding that which is illustrated. A Photographic Feature will not normally exceed six pages.

In almost all cases a location map will be required in a Photographic Feature.

For an example, click here.

Case Study

Case Study papers focus on specific examples that will advance engineering geology and hydrogeology practice. Across a broad scope, papers may focus on a particular method, site or analytical technique or may evaluate a large-scale project. It is helpful to focus the paper on one example, providing the geological context and a detailed, well-illustrated, description of the project/method and analyses. The paper should also provide details on the lessons learned from the case study for engineering geology and/hydrogeology practice, i.e. an evaluation as well as implications, and may make recommendations for future work.

For an example, click here.


Discussions on papers that have already appeared in the journal or a GSL Engineering Geology Special Publication are acceptable. Discussions should be submitted within a year of the publication of the article discussed.

Discussions should be succinct, written in an objective and scientific manner, and ideally about 1000 words in length. Discussions should be submitted online as described above. Please ensure that you include your own address and all the references that you cite, even if they were in the original paper.

For an example, click here.

Discussions should add something to the debate and not be just an additional observation.

Refereeing and editing

QJEGH aims to review and publish papers as rapidly as possible. Authors for whom English is not their first language are strongly recommended to procure a thorough review of their papers by a native English speaker prior to submission. This should ensure that the publication of their paper is not delayed or, indeed, jeopardized by issues related to readability.

The scientific editor will send your paper to at least two referees. The scientific editor and the assistant scientific editors will handle the papers through the reviewing and scientific editing procedure and approve the finalized script for publication. A Single Blind Peer Review process is used.

We expect the reviewing and editing procedure to take about four to five months in the case of a paper requiring little revision. We are of course dependent on the goodwill of unpaid reviewers to achieve these targets.

You can keep track of this process through the online submissions package.


Accepted manuscripts: The Journal will make the accepted manuscript available online within 2 weeks 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 will be a water-marked PDF of the accepted text and original figures. Any supplementary content will be made available via a link on the PDF cover page.

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 will be automatic). You will be alerted to this by a question during the submission process.

Published article (version of record): The Production Editor will write to the corresponding author notifying them of when the version of record is due to be published. The paper will be copyedited and then sent to an external typesetter. The corresponding author will be emailed with details of how to access their proof. We do not generally send revised proofs to the author.

The production process takes 6–8 weeks from acceptance to publication.


You will be emailed instructions on how to download a PDF of your paper from the online version of the journal. Paper offprints can be ordered; instructions will be sent with the proof email.

Image disclaimer

The Geological Society endeavours to ensure that all images published contribute to the objectives of the individual papers in which they appear. In presenting pictures that illustrate a particular technical point it is recognized that authors select pictures from their own archives and from those of others.

Occasionally these may illustrate practices in respect of health and safety that may not conform to current best practice in the developed world. This may be due to the age of the particular picture or the region in which it was captured – in either case the near-impossibility of replacing it is recognized by a ‘hands-off’ approach to the inclusion or otherwise of such pictures.

The inclusion of such images should not be taken as an endorsement of the practices depicted by The Geological Society, the Authors or any other person or body.

The William Dearman Early Career Award

The QJEGH William Dearman Early Career Award is annually presented for the best paper from an engineering geologist or hydrogeologist in the early stages of their career. On submission of their accepted paper nominees must be within ten years (full time equivalent i.e. it does not have to be consecutive years) of the award of their first degree in geoscience or a cognate subject. Those nominated do not have to be Fellows of the Society.

The prize is a free of charge gold open access paper (subject to full peer review) in the journal, for a paper submitted  within 2 years of your award, an SP (or EGSP) of your choice and an invitation to join the QJEGH Board as a guest editor for 1 year.

If you wish your paper to be considered for this award, you must email the title of the paper you wish to be considered, to: See past winners for the QJEGH Professor W Dearman Early Career Award

Keep in touch

We produce a regular author newsletter. If you would like to receive this, please click this link or email our marketing team ( You do not have to be a published author to sign up. You can unsubscribe at any time.


  • Impact Factor: 1.171
  • 5yr IF: 1.263
  • SJR: 0.443
  • SNIP: 0.695

Metrics should be viewed in context here: Metrics