"The primary goal of GEOSPHERE is to meet growing needs for timely publication of scientific results and data in ways that cannot be addressed by traditional print formats," said G. Randy Keller, University of Texas at El Paso, science editor of GEOSPHERE. A member of GSA since 1972, Keller served as an associate editor of GSA Bulletin from 1983 to 1989 and helped edit several other journals and special volumes.
Like other GSA publications, GEOSPHERE will publish high-quality papers from a broad spectrum of geoscience disciplines and locales, and the peer review process will be rigorous. What sets the journal apart is enormous flexibility with regard to color and the types of media used to communicate ideas.
"Today's geoscientist has many options for illustrating research findings, their context, and significance," said Keller. "With an electronic format we can encourage extensive use of color, animations, and interactivity. We can also easily accommodate oversized figures such as maps, cross-sections, and seismic sections."
Another major advantage of the electronic format is the ability to link to data archives. According to Keller, a secondary goal of GEOSPHERE is to build interfaces with other efforts that seek to preserve and improve access to published research data and resources such as GIS databases and modeling tools.
GSA encourages a variety of contributions to GEOSPHERE including:
- Research Papers - fundamental and complete research contributions on scientific and educational topics
- Research Notes - brief research contributions that can take many forms
- Data Contributions - Data sets to be placed in an archive where longevity can be assured
- Educational Contributions - New software, Web services, ontologies, etc., that will be made freely available to the scientific and educational communities
- Comments and Replies - Discussion of published papers
Keller notes that although GEOSPHERE is not intended to replace traditional format publications, it does welcome submissions of a traditional nature. "What it will do is expand the existing array of scientific publications with a dynamic and evolutionary journal. I am both excited and daunted by the challenge."