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Special Publications

This is the Society’s flagship series. The first was published in 1964 as a supplement to the Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society (the precursor to the Journal of the Geological Society), and was retrospectively numbered as a Special Publication. The series gained its current clear identity in 1981. The frequency of publication has steadily increased, and we are currently publishing around 20 new volumes every year.

Special Publications are renowned throughout the global geoscience community for their high quality of science and production. They represent a state-of-the-art treatment of their subject matter. Although they do not have to be comprehensive (they are not text books), we expect the editors to provide a balanced coverage of the subject matter. The Society has high standards of quality control for book proposals, and the volume editors are required to undertake full peer review of all papers to the standards expected for our journals.

The Geological Society is actively commissioning new volumes for the series, and will consider proposals from all branches of the Geosciences. More information on proposing a volume can be found here:

A list of the titles in this series is available from the publications catalogues.

Special Publications can be purchased through the online bookshop and through the AAPG, online booksellers and the major library suppliers in North America. The most recent volumes can be inspected and purchased in the Burlington House Bookshop (within the Library).

Special Publications in the Lyell Collection

Special Publications form a major part of the Lyell Collection, the Geological Society’s online collection of all key content published since 1845. The Collection features Special Publications from Volume 1, with all new volumes being posted slightly ahead of their print publication date. Abstracts, PDFs and references have been captured up to and including volume 277, with later volumes also including full text HTML. The Collection benefits from full electronic functionality, including active reference linking. For further details and information on how to subscribe to the Lyell Collection, visit

View the table of contents of the latest Special Publication on the Lyell Collection.

SP Online

The Lyell Collection

View the table of contents of the latest Special Publication on the Lyell Collection