NOTE: The journal currently processes most editorial and reviewer activity through our website, and
some parts of the following procedures may have been updated. We are in the process of updating
information. In case of confusion, please contact the managing editor.
Manuscript acceptance criteria
Manuscripts are considered for acceptance on the basis of the following criteria:
- The subject matter falls within the broad scope of earth science, as defined in the
"Glossary of Geology" (fourth edition), and likely to be of general interest to the membership of the GAC.
- The subject matter is concerned with Earth Science in Canada, or with aspects of Earth Science in
other areas of the World, which would be of interest to readers in a broader context that might
apply in Canada.
- The subject material emphasizes wider concepts and ideas as opposed to detailed treatment of data
from small local areas of limited interest across or beyond Canada.
- Articles are technically sound and can be understood readily by the non-specialist with a
geoscience background, and are well illustrated, with good use made of figures and visual material
to express concepts clearly.
- Any controversial matters are treated in a rational manner, without undue polemics or stress
- NOTE: Authors can find detailed guidelines for the preparation and submission of manuscripts under
the "Instructions to Authors" page on the website, or as a downloadable document.
Associate and Series Editors
An associate or series editor is responsible for selecting suitable reviewers for a manuscript or a series
of manuscript(s), and ensuring that these reviewers complete their reviews in a timely manner. He or she
must also make recommendation(s) vis-à-vis publication, revision or resubmission of the manuscript. Specific
- Checking the accepted manuscript(s) for compliance with Geoscience Canada standards, and
keeping the editor(s) apprised of progress so that manuscripts can be scheduled for publication.
- To facilitate the peer-review process, and thereby ensure a timely flow of high-quality
manuscripts for publication in Geoscience Canada.
- To communicate with reviewers and with authors as the process unfolds, and also to provide
editorial input that will assist authors in revising manuscripts and enhance the clarity and
presentation of the final paper.
The review procedure comprises three parts: reviewer selection, reviewer monitoring and review screening.
Follow the steps below to complete the reviewer selection part of the procedure:
- Record the date the manuscript is received from the author(s) or editor(s).
- Immediately prepare a list of potential qualified reviewers, taking note of any recommendations from
the author(s), and the names of authors referred to in the list of References at the back of the
- Make initial contact with a potential reviewer by telephone or e-mail, providing details about the
manuscript, and asking if he/she can complete a review in four to six weeks.
- If the answer is yes, then go to the next step. If the answer is no, then contact the next reviewer
on the list (from the preceding step).
- Obtain and record all the needed contact information of the reviewer, including proper mailing
and courier addresses.
- Immediately prepare a covering letter to the reviewer, which records the anticipated date
of completion of his/her review.
- Send the covering letter, together with a copy of the manuscript and a copy of the
"Geoscience Canada Referee Report", to the reviewer by e-mail, mail or courier, whichever method(s)
is (are) most appropriate.
- Record the date the manuscript was sent to the reviewer.
- Send a copy of the covering letter to the editor(s).
- Repeat steps 3 through 8 until two reviewers are selected.
- NOTE: The selection of two reviewers should be completed within one week of receipt of the manuscript.
This part of the process involves:
- Contact each reviewer by e-mail or telephone four weeks after the manuscript was sent, asking him/her
if their review will be completed within two weeks. If the answer is yes, then send a thank-you note on
behalf of Geoscience Canada. If the answer is no, then ask how much additional time will be needed, and
proceed to the next step.
- NOTE: This does not apply to anyone who completes their review in less than four weeks.
He/she deserves a deluxe thank-you letter on behalf of Geoscience Canada.
- Contact the editor(s) regarding the delinquent reviewer(s) to advise when his/her review will likely
be completed, provide the reviewer’s contact information to the editor(s), and decide whether or not to
extend the deadline. If the decision is to extend the deadline, a new completion date is fixed. If the
decision is not to extend the deadline, go to the next step.
- NOTE: The new completion date will normally be one week past the original due date, unless there
are extenuating circumstances.
- If another reviwer is to be assigned, ask the first reviewer to delete the manuscript immediately
and go back again to the reviewer selection part of the procedure.
- Record the date when the completed review is received.
- Work through this process as often as needed!
Read the comments from both reviewers, including each completed Referee Report, and use the information
below to determine the appropriate response.
- If the reviewers both recommend rejection, formulate a letter to the author(s) indicating that their
manuscript has been rejected and state the reasons why.
- If both recommend publication, go to the next step, and evaluate the revisions needed for final
- If the reviewers disagree on acceptance and rejection, read the manuscript yourself to determine
if further review is necessary. If the answer is yes, then look for a third reviewer. If the answer is no,
then go to the previous step. In most cases, disagreement amongst reviewers should result in a third
- If the reviewer(s) recommend revision of the manuscript (normally the case), evaluate the suggestions
and proceed to the next step.
- Formulate a letter to the author(s) detailing what needs to be done to the manuscript to make it
acceptable for publication, and providing a time line for the revisions to be completed and returned
to the editor(s) for final approval. Send the covering letter and manuscript to the author(s) by e-mail,
mail or courier, whichever method(s) is (are) most appropriate.
- NOTE: The screening of the reviewer's comments and preparation of the response to the author(s)
should be completed within one week of receipt of the completed reviews.
- Record the date the manuscript is sent to the author(s).
- Send a copy of the covering letter to the editor(s), along with a copy of each reviewer's
Final checklist for editors
When the answer to each of the following questions is YES the revised manuscript is ready to send to
the editor(s) for final approval.
- Has (have) the author(s) satisfactorily addressed the points raised by the reviewers and the
- Does the revised manuscript comply fully with the Instructions to Authors?
- Are the digital files of the text, figures and tables in the appropriate formats?
- Is the revised manuscript well organized and readable. Do paragraphs have topic sentences,
are sentences grammatically correct, is the word usage appropriate, and is the wording both precise
- Do the figures and tables meet the simple and clear quality standards for Geoscience Canada?
- Are all illustrations sized appropriately, i.e. one, two or three column width?
- Are the references in the format used by Geoscience Canada?
- Have you cross-checked the references against the revised text?
Responsibilities of Reviewers
A reviewer is responsible for reading a manuscript in his/her area of expertise,
judging its merits from both grammatical and scientific/technical perspectives, and
offering suggestions to the author(s) for improving the manuscript. He or She is also
charged with making a recommendation to the editor(s) regarding the suitability of the manuscript
for publication in Geoscience Canada. The goal of the reviewer is to decide whether or not a
manuscript is suitable for publication in Geoscience Canada, and offer constructive suggestions
to the author(s) for improving the manuscript.
The following steps are involved:
- Read the information about the manuscript immediately after it is supplied by the editor,
including the name(s) of the author(s), title of the manuscript, numbers of pages and illustrations, and
- Determine if you will put yourself in a conflict of interest situation by acting as a reviewer
of this manuscript. If yes, decline to be a reviewer. If no, proceed to the next step.
- Determine if you can complete the review within the allotted time given by the editor. If yes,
inform the editor immediately and confirm that he/she has your correct mailing address or
courier address. If no, decline to be a reviewer.
- Send an e-mail acknowledgement to the editor (associate editor) upon receipt of the manuscript.
- Read/scan the Instructions to Authors Contributing to Geoscience Canada prior to reading the
manuscript, if you are not familiar with the guidelines.
- Critically read the manuscript keeping in mind the Instructions to Authors,
including the Geoscience Canada criteria for accepting a manuscript for publication.
- Complete the Geoscience Canada Referee Report, which accompanied the manuscript.
- NOTE: Reviewers are encouraged to offer supplementary constructive suggestions for improving
the manuscript on a separate page(s).
- Prepare a covering letter to the editor (associate editor) with your recommendation concerning
publication of the manuscript, which includes any comments that you do not want made
known to the author(s).
- Send this letter along with your completed review and all parts of the manuscript to the editor
prior to the pre-established deadline.
Final checklist for Reviewers
When the answer to each of the following questions is YES the manuscript is ready to send to the editor.
- Have you read the Instructions to Authors?
- Have you completed the Geoscience Canada Referee Report?
- Have you included constructive suggestions for improving the manuscript on a separate page(s)?
- Does your covering letter to the editor (associate editor) include recommendations
concerning publication of the manuscript?
- Do the figures and tables meet the simple and clear quality standards for Geoscience Canada
and have you indicated where changes are required?
- Does the manuscript have an appropriate summary rather than an abstract?
- Are the references in the format used by Geoscience Canada?
- Have you cross-checked the references against the text?