Instructions to Authors

The guidelines for writing and formatting articles for Geophysics have been revised effective January 2018 and include new requirements to support a double-blind review.
View a brief summary of these instructions


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Geophysics Manuscript Processing Flow

Geophysics Manuscript Review and Processing Schedules

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Material published in Geophysics should show relevance of a geophysical method to hydrocarbon, mining, geothermal, groundwater, environmental, or engineering applications. A predominantly mathematical paper should be illustrated by a data example. Case histories, tutorials, and interpretation papers are of special interest. Manuscripts on fundamental geophysical principles that are relevant for exploration are also welcome. Geophysics should have broad appeal, ranging from practical field studies to more theoretical treatments. Geophysics  encourages the estimation of the uncertainties of the obtained results. Attempts to qualify and to quantify the uncertainties are well received.

Authors are strongly encouraged, but not required, to include at least one example of recorded data in the manuscript to illustrate the technology or concept being proposed. Authors are asked during the submission process to indicate whether data necessary to reproduce the results reported in the paper are available. A data-availability statement will be published along with the just-accepted and final versions of accepted papers. See the Data and Materials Availability section of these instructions for more information.

Technical papers, case histories, discussions, tutorials, and Geophysics Letters are welcome. Technical papers, case histories, tutorials, and Geophysics Letters require an abstract. With the exception of Geophysics Letters, which are short (see the section on Geophysics Letters later in these guidelines), authors should confine their papers to ten (10) journal pages or fewer, including figures. Papers may be subject to page charges (see the following section on author fees).

All contributions submitted in English are considered regardless of whether the author is a member of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists; however, nonmembers generally incur mandatory page charges. A technical contribution is accepted for review with the understanding that (1) it has neither been accepted for publication nor published elsewhere either in whole or in part and (2) it is neither currently being considered by another journal nor will be submitted to another journal either in whole or in part while under consideration for Geophysics. If prior submission or publication has been to a publication with a very limited audience significantly different from the readership of Geophysics, the Editor may choose to waive these restrictions. It is the authors' responsibility to inform the Editor of any variance from the status described in (1) or (2) above.

Geophysics encourages authors of SEG Technical Program Expanded Abstracts and other papers originally presented at SEG meetings to submit for consideration expanded, journal-quality versions of their work and strongly encourages fresh expression of the ideas rather than duplication of the expanded abstract text. Authors must mention the initial presentation in a cover letter and explain what is new in the journal-manuscript version. Translations of non-English papers that have been published in or have been submitted to another journal will not be accepted unless specifically solicited by the Editor.

Please limit the mention of any commercial product or service to once per paper and include such mention only if it is absolutely necessary to identify the product or service. Excessive references to commercial products or services may result in a revision request or rejection of the paper. Authors are required to follow all ethical policies stipulated by the Society, including the Ethical Guidelines for SEG Publications. These guidelines apply to all submissions, including papers and software.

All submissions are processed by CrossRef Similarity Check, a plagiarism-detection tool. CrossRef Similarity Check identifies material that matches text from documents found in its extensive database. Identified text might include text that has been properly quoted and cited. Nonetheless, submissions receiving a similarity score of 20% or higher overall or more than 5% to any single source will be subject to further evaluation to determine if identified sections have been properly quoted, summarized, or paraphrased with proper attribution. Using an author's own previously published work without appropriate citations is unacceptable. Even though the author wrote the material, the copyright could be held by the publisher.

Note that authors choosing traditional publication via copyright transfer are allowed to post a final accepted version of the manuscript or the final SEG-formatted version on authors' personal Web sites, employers' Web sites, or in institutional repositories operated and controlled exclusively by authors' employers provided that (a) the SEG-prepared version is presented without modification; (b) copyright notice and a full citation appear with the paper; (c) a link to the SEG version of record in the SEG Library using Digital Object Identifier (DOI) permalinks is provided; (d) the posting is noncommercial in nature, and the paper is made available to users without charge; and (e) that notice be provided that use is subject to SEG terms of use and conditions. It is an infringement of SEG rights to post SEG-copyrighted papers on,, and other third-party paper-sharing sites. Please see SEG's Open Access Policy covering both green open access, under which SEG holds copyright, and gold open access, under which articles become free on SEG Web sites in exchange for payment of an author fee and are made available under a Creative Commons license selected by the author from among four options.

To check the status of a submitted manuscript, authors should check the "Author Center" at . If necessary, authors may e-mail [email protected] to contact journal staff at the SEG Business Office.


To support the high cost of publication, technical papers and research letters published in Geophysics usually incur page charges, either voluntary or mandatory or both. Authors also may choose to pay color charges. Publication decisions are independent of authors' elections regarding voluntary page and color charges. It is important, nonetheless, that authors consider paying voluntary charges if it is within their means (including their employers' or other funders' means) to do so.

A new author-fee policy was approved by the SEG Board of Directors on 30 January 2020. For papers submitted on or after 1 February 2020, members are requested but not required to pay US$175 for each of the first ten (10) pages of a published paper; however, they must pay US$275 for each additional page. Authors shall not be assessed mandatory color charges but shall be asked to pay $450 per color page voluntarily. For papers submitted prior to 1 February 2020, member authors are requested but not required to pay US$175 for each of the first ten (10) pages of a published paper; however, they must pay US$225 for each additional page.

If none of the authors of a paper is an SEG member in good standing, the mandatory page charge for papers submitted on or after 1 February 2020 is US$325 per page. For papers submitted prior to 1 February 2020, the mandatory page charge is US$275 per page.

The exact number of pages in an article cannot be confirmed until shortly before printing. However, a reasonable estimate is the number of words in the text divided by 1000 plus 35% of the number of figures and tables.

Authors will receive an estimate of charges with their galley proofs. Authors can request that figures be reduced in size to reduce the overall length of the paper. Return of the proofs signals confirmation that authors made the proper selections on the author-fee forms and are willing and able to pay the estimated amount unless changes are requested prior to or simultaneous with return of proofs.

Billing will take place after composition of the paper is complete. No charges are assessed if a submitted manuscript is not published.

In addition to these charges, there may be charges for changes requested in the typeset proofs that alter the text or figures in the accepted manuscript. The journal staff will determine such charges from the proofs that reflect the changes.

It is SEG's policy to suspend publication privileges of any author who has a past-due publication-fee account (including page charges, agreed color charges, open-access fees) with the Society. Suspension of privileges includes publishing in Geophysics, The Leading Edge, Interpretation, and the Annual Meeting Technical Program Expanded Abstracts. If payment is not made, the Author Center in ScholarOne will be flagged and any papers in process will be withdrawn. Coauthors of unpaid manuscripts also may be subject to suspension of publication privileges. If charges are divided among authors of a paper, coauthors who have met their share of the payment obligation will not have their publication privileges suspended.

The Society has options available to authors who have insufficient resources. Prior to publication, preferably at time of paper acceptance, authors may apply for hardship relief (see policy below), and authors may request changes to their layout at galley-proof stage so as to reduce charges assessed.


SEG levies page charges from authors of Geophysics articles to help offset production expenses. Yet the Society does not intend for these charges to prevent any author from publishing in the journal. SEG expects that all authors with the personal, research-grant, or institutional resources to pay voluntary and mandatory page charges and voluntary color charges will do so. Authors of papers that include at least one SEG member in its authorship may decline to pay voluntary charges. Authors who have insufficient resources to pay mandatory charges should send a request for hardship relief from some or all charges to the Editor and the SEG Associate Executive Director, Publications and Communities simultaneously if they can answer yes or N/A (not applicable) to the following questions:

  1. Is at least one author an SEG member?
  2. If the paper is projected to be more than 10 pages in length, would shortening it to 10 or fewer pages unduly compromise the quality of the technical communication?

Those seeking hardship relief should request it at the time their paper is accepted for publication, providing specifics about the paper as it relates to the questions above and indicating the degree of ability to pay normal charges.


Authors of papers accepted for publication in an SEG journal may elect to have their papers made freely accessible indefinitely in SEG's online archives by paying an open-access fee of US$2,500 and all mandatory charges. The open-access fee for papers submitted on or after 1 February 2020 is US$3,500 plus all mandatory charges. If an author paid US$1000 for open-access publication of an SEG Expanded Abstract, the open-access fee for the expansion of that paper published in GEOPHYSICS would be reduced by US$1000 and charged US$2,500 plus all mandatory charges. Four license options are available to authors who choose open-access publication. Authors may choose from the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY), Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license (CC BY-NC), Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license (CC BY-SA), and Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license (CC BY-NC-ND. Read more about these options and SEG's traditional-publication policy.


As a society devoted to advancing an applied science, SEG recognizes that much of the data and code associated with research reported in its journals cannot be released publicly or otherwise shared. As throughout the Society’s history, papers from industry authors and academic researchers whose work is built on unsharable industry-owned data are invited, encouraged, and welcome. Yet to foster transparency, attract more article usage, and improve the reproducibility of published research, SEG requires that journal-paper authors indicate the availability of any data underlying their work. Before sharing of data, authors must ensure they have the permission to do so. During submission to ScholarOne Manuscripts, authors will be asked to select or otherwise provide a data-availability statement for publication in a Data and Materials Availability section of the accepted-manuscript and final versions of their papers.

  1. “Data associated with this research are available and can be accessed via the following URL: (open text field)” Note: A digital object identifier (DOI) linking to the data in a general or discipline-specific data repository is strongly preferred.
  2. “Data associated with this research are available and can be obtained by contacting the corresponding author.”
  3. “Data associated with this research are confidential and cannot be released.”
  4. Custom statement of data and materials availability: (open text field)

SEG is a signatory to the Coalition on Publishing Data in the Earth and Space Sciences (COPDESS) Statement of Commitment, which states: “Earth and space science data are special resources, critical for advancing science and addressing societal challenges—from assessing and responding to natural hazards and climate change, to use of energy and natural resources, to managing our oceans, air, and land.”

To help provide a full assessment of results presented in its journals, SEG encourages authors, when feasible, to make available data necessary to understand, evaluate, replicate, and build upon their reported research.

For the purposes of this policy, data include but are not limited to, the following:

  • Data used to generate or be displayed in figures, graphs, plots, videos, animations, or tables in a paper.
  • New protocols or methods used to generate the data in a paper.
  • New code/computer software used to generate results or analyses reported in the paper.
  • Derived data products reported or described in a paper.

The Society encourages use of appropriate domain repositories (primarily those for geoscience data) that aggregate published data and/or code and support Digital Object Identifier (DOI) registration and discoverable metadata as the preferred means of making available data and/or code associated with journal papers. SEG encourages authors whose data sets and/or code are not appropriate for a domain-specific repository to use a general repository such as Dryad or figshare. Less preferred but acceptable is deposit of data and/or code in an archived institutional Web site. Other types of files supporting papers (e.g., animations or videos) may be better suited for publication as supplements alongside the paper within the SEG Library and in GeoScienceWorld.

Data and software, if publicly available, should be cited fully, including an entry in References. Each data or software deposit should have a DOI link and comply with the aims of DataCite and Force 11’s Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles that reinforce consideration of data and code as citable products of research.

For an inventory of repositories, visit the COPDESS Directory of Repositories.


Write to inform. Before beginning to write, organize your material carefully. Include all the data necessary to support your conclusions, but exclude redundant or unnecessary data.

Choose the active voice more often than the passive. The passive usually requires more words and sometimes obscures the meaning. Use the first person, not the third person; for single-author papers, the usage of I is preferred, but we will be accepted as well.

Prepare a first draft that includes all the data, arguments, and conclusions that you had planned to cover. Then edit your manuscript carefully. Ask yourself whether the reader will find the text clear and the figures thoroughly integrated with the text. Go through this process at least twice, preparing a new draft each time.

When you are satisfied, ask a colleague — preferably someone not well acquainted with the subject matter — to read your draft. Be prepared for criticism. If one reader does not understand parts of your text, others will have the same problem. Remember, you are thoroughly acquainted with your subject, but your reader is not.

How To Write and Publish a Scientific Paper, sixth edition (2006, Greenwood Press), by Robert A. Day and Barbara Gastel, is a useful guide for preparing and organizing a technical paper.

For details on style and usage, such as capitalization, punctuation, etc., refer to the University of Chicago Press' The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition.

The dictionaries you should use are Webster's Third New International Dictionary and Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition.

The Encyclopedic Dictionary of Applied Geophysics, fourth edition, by R. E. Sheriff, is SEG's standard for terms particular to geophysical technology. It also contains the preferred SI units and abbreviations for units. Revised versions of the fourth edition were published in 2006 and 2011.

SEG partners with Editage to provide SEG authors with a discount on presubmission manuscript-preparation services including English editing and formatting. Visit to receive a quote.


Please note that on 1 January 2018, Geophysics began using double-blind peer review and reviewers must not see names and affiliations of authors before and during peer review. This is a significant change for authors because the title page now must be uploaded as a separate document and the Acknowledgments section must not be included until final acceptance. Please see the section on Peer Review for more information on double-blind review.

Word templates are available for initial submission including a separate title page and separate main body and also for final acceptance including one file for the title page and main body. LaTeX packages also are available.


A scientific paper can be divided into sections: title, abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, conclusion, acknowledgments, data and materials availability, appendices, and references. There is some flexibility in labeling these components, but they should be clearly identifiable and should follow in order.

Title page

The title is a label, not a sentence. Choose as few words as possible to describe the contents of the paper adequately. Use proper syntax. The first word should be significant and helpful both for classifying and indexing the paper. Company names should not be included in the title. If the title is longer than 38 characters, you must provide (on the title page of the paper) a shortened form of 38 characters or fewer to appear as a running head above alternate pages of the published paper.

List the authors on the title page by full names whenever possible. Please be absolutely sure you have spelled your coauthors' names correctly. Be sure also to use the form of the names that your coauthors prefer. Include only those who take intellectual responsibility for the work being reported, and exclude those who have been involved only peripherally. The author list should not be used in lieu of an acknowledgments section.

On the title page, also include the authors' affiliations, including e-mail addresses, and the dates of submission of the original paper and of the revised paper.

The title page must be uploaded as a separate document because of double-blind review. Reviewers will not see the names of authors or their institutions. A sample title page is available for download. Please see the section on Peer Review for more information on double-blind review.


Please pay particular attention to the preparation of your abstract; use the material in this reference as a guide. Every manuscript other than a discussion must be accompanied by an informative abstract of no more than one paragraph (200 to 300 words). The abstract should be self-contained. No references, figures, tables, or equations are allowed in an abstract. Do not use new terminology in an abstract unless it is defined or is well known from prior publications. SEG discourages the use of commercial names or parenthetical statements. The abstract must not simply list the topics covered in the paper but should (1) state the scope and principal objectives of the research, (2) describe the methods used, (3) summarize the results, and (4) state the principal conclusions. Do not refer to the paper itself in the abstract. For example, do not say, "In this paper, we will discuss…"

The abstract must stand alone as a very short version of the paper rather than as a description of the contents. Remember that the abstract will be the most widely read portion of the paper. Various groups throughout the world publish abstracts of Geophysics papers. Readers and occasionally even reviewers may be influenced by the abstract to the point of final judgment before the body of the paper is read.


The purpose of the introduction is to tell readers why they should want to read what follows the introduction. This section should provide sufficient background information to allow readers to understand the context and significance of the problem. This does not mean, however, that authors should use the introduction to rederive established results or to indulge in other needless repetition. The introduction should (1) present the nature and scope of the problem; (2) review the pertinent literature, within reason; (3) state the objectives; (4) describe the method of investigation; and (5) describe the principal results of the investigation.

For additional guidelines, see J. F. Claerbout, 1991, "A scrutiny of the introduction," The Leading Edge, 10, 39.


The methodology employed in the work should be described in sufficient detail so that a competent geophysicist could duplicate the results. More detailed items (e.g., heavy mathematics) often are best placed in appendices. For complex mathematical articles, authors are strongly encouraged to include a table of symbols.


The results section contains applications of the methodology described above. The results of experiments (either physical or computational) are data and can be presented as tables or figures and analyses. Whenever possible, include at least one example of recorded data to illustrate the technology or concept being proposed. Case-history results are usually geologic interpretations.

Selective presentation of results is important. Redundancy should be avoided, and results of minor variations on the principal experiment should be summarized rather than included. Details appearing in figure captions and table heads should not be restated in the text. In a well-written paper, the results section is often the shortest.


The discussion section should be separate from the conclusion section. If they are combined, the copy editor of your manuscript is instructed to ask you to separate them. This can result in delays in production. See below for a description of the conclusion section.

Some papers may not require a discussion section. If this is the case with your paper, do not include a discussion section.


The conclusion section should include (1) principles, relationships, and generalizations inferred from the results (but not a repetition of the results); (2) any exceptions to or problems with those principles, relationships, and generalizations, as indicated by the results; (3) agreements or disagreements with previously published work; (4) theoretical implications and possible practical applications of the work; and (5) conclusions drawn (especially regarding significance). In particular, with reference to item (1) above, a conclusion that only summarizes the results is not acceptable.

The conclusion should not include figures, tables, equations, or reference citations.

Figures and tables

Each figure and table must be called out (mentioned) sequentially in the text of the paper. Each figure must have a caption, and each table must have a heading. Captions and headings should be explicit enough that the reader can understand the significance of the illustration or table without reference to the text.

Each illustration and table should be given an Arabic number and should be referred to by that number in the text. In the caption and text, spell out the word Figure and capitalize it when a number follows it. In table headings and text, spell out the word Table and capitalize it when a number follows it.


Footnotes should be avoided unless absolutely essential and then should be held to a minimum. All footnotes introduced in the text of a paper should be numbered consecutively from beginning to end of the manuscript, including the footnotes for the author affiliations. In the manuscript, each footnote must be inserted at the bottom of the page where the reference appears.


To facilitate double-blind review, authors must not submit an acknowledgments section until after acceptance to help prevent the authors’ identities from being known. If the authors choose to include an acknowledgments section after acceptance, the section is placed after the conclusion and before the appendices (if any) and reference list. Please see the section on Peer Review for more information on double-blind review.


An appendix should not be cited in the text in such a way that the appendix is essential to a reader's understanding of the flow of the main text. See section 1.59 in The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition, for further explanation of the content of an appendix. Each appendix should be called out (mentioned) sequentially in the text of the paper by name, i.e., "Appendix A."

Each appendix should have a label such as "Appendix A" on the first line and a subtitle such as "Mathematical Considerations" on the second line. In each appendix, number equations and figures beginning with 1: A-1, B-1, etc.

Appendices are placed before the reference list.

Reference list

The reference list is placed last in a manuscript. See the "References" section under "Manuscript Preparation" below for details on reference style.


Papers submitted to Geophysics should meet the requirements detailed in this guide. If certain requirements are not met, a paper may be prevented from being accepted for review. Papers most likely to be delayed include those with a high degree of similarity to previously published work and those written in poor English. In such cases, the paper will not be reviewed until the necessary basic requirements are satisfied. To facilitate processing and review, authors are urged to read and carefully follow the procedures described below.

Checklist to avoid processing and review delays

  • Have I followed the requirements for not numbering sections and headings?
  • Does my abstract summarize outcomes and not contain references to the paper or other documents?
  • Have I removed references from the conclusions section?
  • Have I included all authors in the submission system and in the paper’s byline?
  • Is my document one column wide?
  • Have I submitted a clean version of the document with all tracked edits accepted?
  • Have I included references and followed the style instructions for the reference list?
  • Have I clearly labeled sections of the paper with headings, such as “Abstract, Introduction, Methods.”
  • Have I labeled figures as “Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.”?
  • Are my figures clear with self-explaining captions?
  • Have I properly numbered equations and followed style guidelines for vectors, matrices, and tensors?
  • Have I included a running head?
  • Have I uploaded a separate title page?
  • Have I removed the acknowledgment section and removed references to funders and project names throughout the paper to help preserve author anonymity?
  • Have I removed my affiliation from figures?
  • Have I removed identifying information, including author names, from file names and document properties?
  • Have I limited self-references only to papers that are relevant for those reviewing the submission?
  • If my paper is intended to be considered for the Geophysical Software and Algorithms section, have I uploaded code?
  • If my paper is intended to be a Letters paper, have I followed the Letters requirements?

Electronic submission of manuscripts

Manuscripts should be submitted online at

Geophysics uses ScholarOne Manuscripts system for online submission, peer review, and tracking. During the review process, authors use the online system to check paper status, communicate with editors, and submit revisions.

Prepare the manuscript by following these instructions carefully, and save the text of the manuscript in one PDF, PostScript, or Microsoft Word file. Upload the title page separately using the Title Page file type. Figures may be submitted as TIFF, EPS, PNG, or Word files. (Figures submitted in Word, however, are allowed for reviewing purposes only. If the paper is accepted for publication, TIFF, EPS, or PNG files at a resolution of at least 300 dpi will be required for production.)

Log on at On the left side of the screen, click "User Tutorials" to obtain "Author Guides," tips for uploading files in ScholarOne Manuscripts, and other online help for uploading to the system.

When you are ready to upload your manuscript files, enter your "Author Center." Click on "Start a new submission," enter the data required, and follow the steps for submitting a manuscript. Be sure to click "Submit" when you finish uploading the files and have previewed the PDF file. When you have completed the uploading process successfully, you will see a confirmation screen that includes the manuscript ID number assigned to your submission. You also will receive an e-mail confirmation within a day, to be saved for future reference.

If you need additional help, click the "Help" button in the upper right corner. This link brings up a new window that contains instructions, answers to frequently asked questions, and a method to send a question to the ScholarOne Manuscripts support team. If necessary, e-mail [email protected]  to contact a member of the SEG staff, but first you should contact the ScholarOne Manuscripts support team for assistance.

Authors are requested not to address the Editor, Assistant Editors, or Associate Editors directly unless the communication is of a personal nature or is an appeal. Routine communications are handled more efficiently electronically through the peer-review system or the SEG Business Office.

Acceptable forms of the manuscript

Manuscripts reviewed online are circulated as PDF documents, although the original files also can be viewed by referees. Authors should submit the manuscript text as a single document in PDF, PostScript, or Microsoft Word, with the title page submitted as a separate document. Figures may be submitted as TIFF, EPS, PNG, or Word files. (Figures submitted in Word are allowed for reviewing purposes only. If the paper is accepted for publication, TIFF, EPS, or PNG files at a resolution of at least 300 dpi will be required for production.) The online-submission software automatically combines the Word document with the figure files to create a single PDF file. Authors who use LaTeX to prepare their manuscripts can use the SEG macros (called SEGTeX) to format the text, equations, references, and appendices so that they conform to Geophysics guidelines for submission.

The SEG LaTeX package has been updated to support double-blind review. The file “Manuscript style Geophysics paper” should be used for submission prior to final acceptance. It does not include the author byline. Please also note that Acknowledgments should not be included in the version for review and will need to be commented out of the file. Authors will need to submit a separate title page to preserve anonymity. The file “Manuscript style Geophysics with author information (no double-blind review)” includes the author byline and should be used only for submission of production files after acceptance.

Once a paper is accepted for publication, the author is required to upload the final document (and the completed publication forms) through the "Author Center" at The publication forms are located on SEG's website. Please complete the forms and upload them to the system. If necessary, you may fax the forms to 1-918-497-5558. The paper is not considered accepted until the final documents are uploaded in the online system and the files and forms are checked by journal staff.

Accepted manuscripts are located under "Manuscripts accepted for First Look" in the "Author Center." The authors will click the "Submit updated manuscript" link to update data as needed and upload final documents. When submitting final documents, please check the following:

  • Are author names and affiliations on the title page of the paper correct and listed exactly as they should be published?
  • Is the right running head listed on the title page of the paper? The right running head is a short version of the title, 38 characters or fewer (including spaces), to be used on pages following the first page of the article.
  • Do figures meet resolution requirements?
  • Are figures formatted at the correct resolution?
  • Are figure files named as the correct figure numbers (Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.)?
  • Have you submitted all figures in the color space in which you expect them to be published?
  • Color figures must be submitted in color, and grayscale or black-and-white figures must be submitted in grayscale or black and white accordingly.
  • Is the manuscript void of linking or highlighting as required?
  • If you are uploading TIFF files, have you enabled LZW compression while saving?
  • If you are uploading color figures, are they formatted in CMYK (cyan-magenta-yellow-black)?

    GEOPHYSICS can accept RGB files and convert them to CMYK, but authors must carefully check proofs to ensure that color variations are accurately represented in captions.

  • Did you click on each figure file's "EDIT" button (blue button to the right of each figure file) and type in the figure number in the "legends/captions" text box?

Preferred formats for production are Microsoft Word and LaTeX, in that order. The preferred math program for Word papers is MathType 5.1 or greater. If you do submit a paper in LaTeX, please use the updated SEG/TeX macro . If using BibTeX to create references, authors must run BibTeX before submitting the .tex file and read in or paste the resulting contents of the generated .bbl file within the bibliography section of the .tex file. All LaTeX manuscripts must include the .tex file and a PDF generated by that file.

When submitting your final files, please identify software used.


Geophysics authors may submit movie, sound, and other types of ancillary files for publication along with the manuscripts they are intended to augment. These files should be uploaded to the online peer-review system along with the manuscript. A note accompanying the submission should indicate that an ancillary file has been submitted for review with the intention that it be published online with the paper. If the manuscript and the ancillary file are accepted for publication, the file will be published online in conjunction with the paper.

Video submissions

Geophysics accepts video submitted only as digital files. Acceptable file formats include QuickTime Nonstreaming (.qt or .mov), MPEG (.mpg), WMA, MP4, AVI, and DV (.dv). The preferred formats are .mov and .mpg.

Video files should be named [].

In addition, a representative "still" image taken from the video is required for use as a placeholder for the video file in PDFs and print. This still image is not intended to convey meaning about the content of the video; rather, it will be used as a static representation of the video file. Care should be taken to extract an image from the video which has reasonable clarity of fine lines and details. Acceptable file formats for still images are EPS (.eps) and TIFF (.tif). Still images should be named [].

Most applications offer the option of saving multimedia in a variety of formats. When saving a video file, authors should use the "Save as…" option and select .qt, .mpg, .mov, or .dv as the file type.

Audio submissions

Geophysics also accepts digital audio files as essential multimedia. Acceptable file formats include PCM (.pcm), WAV (.wav), AIFF (.aif), and MP3 (.mp3) at 128 KB or greater. Audio files should be named [].

General guidelines for all multimedia submissions

At this time, the online journal platform on which Geophysics is published has not specified a maximum file size for submission; however, authors are strongly encouraged to adhere to the following guidelines when they prepare their files:

  • The acceptable file formats outlined above are playable using standard media players such as QuickTime and Windows Media Player. Media players should be used to check file properties and image/sound quality prior to submission. Fonts, lines, and image details in video submission should be of sufficient size and weight to be visible when played at half size.
  • Attention should be paid to the file size to make download time reasonable because streaming formats are not acceptable for submission at this time. A recommended target size for each multimedia file is 3–5 MB.
  • Authors are encouraged to use one of the accepted compression codecs to minimize file sizes.
  • Animations must be formatted into a standard video file.


When you submit your media file, you will be asked for some information about it. You will be required to submit a caption or description of the content of the media file. This is similar to a typical figure caption. You are invited to submit optional metadata, as outlined in the table below. Please submit a table with this information along with each submitted media file.

Metadata elements

Name Description
Caption/description Textual caption/description of the content of media object. Required.
Type The nature or genre of the content of the media, such as video or audio. Optional.
Format This should describe the media file type, such as Quicktime, DV, MPEG, PCM, or WAV. Optional.
Duration This is the duration of the media-object playing time, in the unit of seconds. It is applicable to video or audio media. Optional.
Frame size For video only (not still images), the size of the video image, as height xwidth in pixels. Optional.
Producer Information about the software used to create the media object. It should include the name and version of the software (e.g., Adobe Premiere Elements v. 11). Optional.


Spacing and paragraphs

Manuscripts must be double-spaced in 12-point type. Double-space all parts of the manuscript, including the abstract, footnotes, quoted material, references, and figure captions. Each paragraph must be indented.

Page numbers

Page numbers must appear on all pages of text, including references, figure captions, and tables.

Page length, line width, and margins

Each page should have no more than 30 lines of type, with no line exceeding six (6) inches in length. Ample margins should be left at the top, bottom, and sides.

Meeting citations

If your technical paper was presented at an SEG meeting, please note that on the title page. The presentation will be cited on the title page in the journal with the number of the meeting and date.


It is necessary for you to distinguish the categories of headings in your manuscript so your intentions will be clear to the editors and typesetters. Please follow the guidelines below. A template is available for your convenience.

Place principal headings (Category 1 heads) at the center of the page in capital letters.

Place Category 2 heads at the left margin (without indentation) in boldface type, with only the first word of the heading and proper nouns capitalized. Start the text that follows on the next line and indent it.

Place Category 3 heads at the left margin (without indentation) in italics, with only the first word of the heading and proper nouns capitalized. Start the text that follows on the next line and indent it.

If headings of still lower rank are necessary, indent, use boldface type, place a period and dash after the heading, and follow with text on the same line.

Do not number sections of the text. Refer to sections by name or content, e.g., "Discussion on deconvolution."

Figures and tables

When submitting your manuscript for review, you may include figures and captions within the text for the convenience of reviewers. When submitting your final files for production, figures should not be embedded in the text but should be uploaded as separate files (see the section "Preparation of Illustrations"). Figure captions should be listed at the end of the manuscript.

Tables, including their headings, should not be included within the text but should follow the manuscript, with each table in a separate digital file. Other types of lists may be run within the text.

Examples of style for terms

air gun*
audio frequency*
back projection*
band limited*
CDP (common depth point)
CMP (common midpoint)
CRP (common reflection point)
cross section*
data set
finite difference*
f-k filter
free space*
high resolution*
least squares*

plane wave*
Q filter
rms (root mean square)
S/N (signal-to-noise ratio; do not add the word "ratio" to S/N when the abbreviation is used)
time slice*
wave stack
wave test
wide band*

* Hyphenate as an adjective; e.g., finite-difference method.

Examples of style in text

  • Use American English spelling, e.g., modeling, color, analyze, behavior, etc.
  • Each sentence must begin with a capital letter. Mathematical symbols or numerals may not be used to begin a sentence.
  • Use a semicolon before the adverbial conjunctions however, thus, hence, therefore, etc., in compound sentences.
  • Use a semicolon between independent clauses not joined by a conjunction.
  • Do not use a colon when an equation or list comes immediately after a verb or preposition.
  • Operator symbols serve as verbs.
  • Equations are punctuated as sentences and should be numbered.
  • The abbreviations et al., i.e., and e.g. are set off with commas, except when et al. is used in a text reference. In that case only, the preceding comma is omitted.
  • Extensive use of italics in text is discouraged; use them only for the most necessary emphasis.
  • Do not use italics for foreign and Latin words that have become common in English usage, e.g., a priori, et al. Check Webster's Third New International Dictionary or Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition, to determine if the term is in common English usage.
  • Use quotation marks to refer to a special term only the first time the term appears.
  • Hyphens are not generally used in words formed with prefixes; e.g., antisymmetric, multidip, nonlinear, semimajor, subbottom, prestack, poststack, pseudosection, etc. Check Webster's Third New International Dictionary or Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition.
  • Hyphens are not used between adverbs ending in ly and the words they modify, e.g., horizontally layered.
  • Do not use newly invented acronyms or trade names to describe your technique. Widely used trade names that appear in the Encyclopedic Dictionary of Applied Geophysics, fourth edition (e.g., microlog), are acceptable.
  • Use symbols for percent (%) and degree (°) in the text as well as in mathematical expressions, tables, or figures.
  • Spell out points of the compass, e.g., east-west, north-northwest.
  • In a series of three or more items, a comma (or a semicolon, where appropriate) follows each item, including the one that precedes and.

Examples of style for units

Physical quantities should be expressed in SI units. When field measurements were obtained or equipment was specified with different units, the value of non-SI units can be specified in parentheses following the SI units, e.g., 2200 m/s (7200 ft/s).

All of the following conform to SI metric standards:

s for second
Om or ohm-m for ohm-meter
S/m for siemens/meter
Hz as unit, hertz as word
A as unit, ampere as word
F as unit, farad as word
H as unit, henry as word
V as unit, volt as word
J as unit, joule as word
N as unit, newton as word
W as unit, watt as word
Pa as unit, pascal as word
m/s for meter per second (not ms-1)
1000 (no comma)
times sign (x) instead of dot for multiplication
space between number and unit (10 m, not 10m)
mGal (not mgal) for abbreviation, milligal for word
ms for millisecond
GHz for gigahertz
MHz for megahertz
kHz for kilohertz
cm for centimeter
mm for millimeter
µm for micrometer
µs for microsecond
nm for nanometer
pm for picometer

The exceptions to SI units listed below are acceptable if SI units follow them in parentheses:

bar as pressure unit
darcy as permeability unit
gamma as magnetic-field intensity unit

Mathematical material

One of the most complicated and expensive operations in publishing Geophysics is typesetting mathematical formulas. Because Geophysics is tagged in XML to facilitate online delivery, some rerendering of equations may occur. However, every effort is made to ensure that all mathematical symbols and terms appear in the galley proof just as the author created them (see the section "Acceptable forms of the manuscript" for instructions on submitting manuscripts in LaTeX). You can help reduce these costs by writing equations in their simplest forms. Often, a complicated expression can be simplified if various terms are assigned symbols that are defined individually. For some good examples, see the paper by Nelson in Geophysics, 53, 1088–1095.

Fractional exponents should be used instead of radicals wherever feasible. Radicals are preferred, however, for simple square roots.

When there is any doubt that subscripts and superscripts will be clear to the typesetter, they should be indicated by carets and inverted carets, for example,


To standardize space and time coordinates, use lowercase letters x, y, z for Cartesian space coordinates. Designate corresponding axes by x-axis, y-axis, and z-axis, and designate the time coordinate by t. To represent traveltime and finite changes in traveltime, use t and Δt rather than T and ΔT. All axis coordinates on figures must be indicated and should be consistent with the text.

Equations that cannot be placed on one line must be broken only at the operator symbols. The sign should be placed at the start of the second line.

Terms in equations are grouped with the following symbols: parentheses ( ), brackets [ ], and braces {}. For example, x = {2r + [(k + 1)(k + 2)]2}1/2.

The typesetter is instructed to set all mathematical symbols and all isolated letters in the text in italic type if there are no markings to the contrary. Use italics for all symbols for scalar quantities, including those represented by Greek letters. Please note that vectors are set in boldface lowercase roman (regular) letters, whereas matrices and tensors are set in boldface capital roman letters. Uppercase boldface letters also may be used for vectors, and lowercase boldface letters may be used for tensors, if such use is customary. Different fonts may be used to further distinguish scalars, vectors, tensors, and matrices.

Here are some ways you can facilitate the processing of your article: (1) Set all letters (including Greek) representing scalar quantities in italics. Do not use italics for such items as sin, cos, max, min, etc. Do not use italics for letters representing units of measurement: ms, ft, etc. (2) Set all vector quantities in bold lowercase except as otherwise noted, as in the case of electromagnetic fields.

All displayed equations should be numbered sequentially throughout the manuscript. When referring to an equation in text, please identify it with a phrase that could serve to identify the type of equations throughout the text, as shown in the following example:

Without phrase: "inserting equations 5 and 6 into equation 9 ..."

With phrase: "inserting the form, equation 5, of the electric field E and the Lindhard form, equation 6, of the dielectric function e into the constitutive equation 9 ..."

Equation numbers in the text should not be shown in parentheses, e.g., "As shown in equation 10." (However, the equation number at the right margin of the column should be enclosed in parentheses.) A mention of the equation number in the text must be accompanied by equation, expression, or another synonym to identify the number itself. Equations in an appendix should be numbered with the prefix of the appendix, e.g., "equation A-1." Equations should be punctuated as sentences or parts of sentences. Please consult The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition, sections 12.18–12.20, for correct punctuation of equations.

For complicated and detailed mathematical papers, authors are encouraged to include a table near the beginning of the paper to define their mathematical symbols. Authors also are strongly encouraged to place complicated and detailed mathematics in appendices.


Authors are requested to be meticulous in following instructions for references, which typically require more editing than any other section of the manuscript. In addition, accuracy and proper form are essential so that references in online Geophysics papers will link to the sources cited. Authors who do not follow guidelines for references can expect a delay in publication because the article may be returned for revision to proper style.

Citation of previous work acknowledges the importance of those investigations and makes available to the reader much more background information than is practical to include in a single paper. However, to be of real value, all references must be readily accessible to the reader. If internal reports with wide circulation constitute an important reference, cite them in the text but not in the reference list, e.g., (G.M. Levy, 1984, Geonics Ltd. Tech., note TN-16). Similarly, citations of personal communications, including papers submitted to a journal but not yet published, may be placed in the text but not in the reference list. Cite personal communications with initial(s), surname, and year, e.g. (J. Smith, personal communication, 2011).

In the text, literature citations should show the author's name followed by the year of publication in parentheses, e.g., Nettleton (1940). If the author's name is not referred to in the text, it and the year should be inserted in parentheses at the point where the reference applies: (Nettleton, 1940).

If there is more than one reference to the same author at a given point in the text, list the years in chronological order with a comma and space between. When more than one author is referenced at a given point in the text, separate the references by a semicolon and a space. If a specific page is referenced, include the page number within the parentheses, after the year (Nettleton, 1940, p. 142).

References should be grouped alphabetically under the heading "References" at the end of the article, after the acknowledgments and appendices (if any). References should be alphabetized according to sections 15.10–15.20 and 16.56–16.93 in The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition, i.e., a single-author work precedes a multiauthor work beginning with the same author's name. For a given author referenced more than once for the same year, use the suffixes a, b, etc., after the year of publication to distinguish references. References with identical authorship should be listed in chronological order.

Material in preparation, submitted, or not yet accepted and scheduled for publication should not be included in the references. Material accepted for publication may be cited as a reference if its publication date has been established, but it will be necessary to double-check the status of the material before your article is published. If the material has not yet been published, it should be cited only as a personal communication.

References not cited in the text should not be included in the reference list unless the paper is of a survey or tutorial nature. Under such circumstances, those references should be grouped separately under the heading "References for General Reading."

In the reference list, the form and punctuation shown in the examples below will be observed. Please note that (1) SEG does not abbreviate titles of journals and names of institutions and publishers except for SEG, AAPG, GSA, SPE, and EAGE, and (2) initials of secondary authors' names precede surnames.

References to electronic material should include (1) the standard information, (2) the format (e-book, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, etc.), (3) the digital object identifier (DOI) if the material is registered with CrossRef, and (4) the access date if no DOI is available.

For types of references not included below, follow the guidelines for author-date citations in The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition.

Papers from journals

Guitton, A., 2005, Multiple attenuation in complex geology with a pattern-based approach: Geophysics, 70, no. 5, V97–V107.

Kosloff, D. D., and E. Baysal, 1982, Forward modeling by a Fourier method: Geophysics, 47, 1402–1412.

Mungall, J. E., and J. J. Hanley, 2004, Origins of outliers of the Huronian Super group within the Sudbury Structure: Journal of Geology, 112, 59–70, accessed 20 March 2006;

Rouse, W. C., A. J. Reading, and R. P. D. Walsh, 1986, Volcanic soil properties in Dominica, West Indies: Engineering Geology, 23, 1–28.

Capitalize only the first word of the title and proper nouns. Do not use quotation marks unless they are actually part of the title. Do not underline or use italics. Show the volume numbers in bold, omit the issue number, and show beginning and ending page numbers or article numbers if the journal does not use page numbers. For references to Geophysics papers since the beginning of 2005, however, include the issue number after the volume number because of the use of alphanumeric page numbers.

Papers from magazines

Castagna, J. P., 1993, Petrophysical imaging using AVO: The Leading Edge, 12, 172–179.

Follow the instructions for papers from journals. If each issue of the magazine begins with page 1, include the issue number after the volume number, e.g., no. 3.


Davis, P. J., and P. Rabinowitz, 1975, Methods of numerical integration: Academic Press Inc.

Hellman, H., 1998, Great feuds in science: Ten of the liveliest disputes ever: John Wiley & Sons, e-book.

Follow the instructions for papers from journals. Reference the full name of the publisher. Do not reference the city of publication or the number of pages in the book.

Articles in books

Baker, D. W., and N. L. Carter, 1972, Seismic velocity anisotropy calculated for ultramafic minerals and aggregates, in H. C. Heard, I. V. Borg, N. L. Carter, and C. B. Raleigh, eds., Flow and fracture of rocks: American Geophysical Union Geophysical Monographs 16, 157–166.

Theses and dissertations

Lodha, G. S., 1974, Quantitative interpretation of airborne electromagnetic response for a spherical model: M.S. thesis, University of Toronto.

Reference to a thesis or dissertation requires neither the name of the department nor the number of pages.


Zhou, B., 1992, Discussion on: "The use of Hartley transform in geophysical applications," R. Saatcilar, S. Ergintav, and N. Canitez, authors: Geophysics, 57, 196–197.

Web site (or part of Web site)

Roemmich, D., 1990, Sea-level change,, accessed 14 July 2003.

Oral presentations that are not published in a proceedings or abstract volume

Hubbard, T. P., 1979, Deconvolution of surface recorded data using vertical seismic profiles: Presented at the 49th Annual International Meeting, SEG.

Do not include city.

Expanded and extended abstracts

Constable, S. C., 1986, Offshore electromagnetic surveying techniques: 56th Annual International Meeting, SEG, Expanded Abstracts, 81–82.

Valenciano, A. A., C. C. Cheng, N. Chemingui, and S. Brandberg-Dahl, 2009, Fourier finite-different migration for 3D TTI media: 71st Conference and Exhibition, EAGE, Extended Abstracts, P065.

References to proceedings of many conferences are appropriate only if these proceedings are generally available to the reader. Authors are requested to avoid such references to material of limited availability. The SEG Expanded Abstracts do qualify as references because of their general accessibility. SEG Expanded Abstracts for 2012 are not paginated. Use the DOI when referring to a paper.


Williams, K. E., 2007, Method and system for combining seismic data and basin modeling: U. S. Patent 7,280,918.

After name, indicate the year the patent was granted.

Data citation

SEG endorses the Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles.  Authors should cite data and software in the reference section of their manuscript. Authors should strive to archive their data in established repositories that follow best practices including assignment of a digital object identifier (DOI). Please follow DOI-assignment guidelines of your chosen repository. Lists of repositories in the Earth and Space Sciences are available at the Coalition on Publishing Data in the Earth and Space Sciences and re3data. Citation in a reference section applies to: (1) data and software that are already published, either in a previous paper or from a repository, and used in your manuscript; and (2) data sets or software that are newly generated by you or your coauthors and archived in a repository.

The citation should adhere to emerging practices and include as much of the following information as possible: Data set or software authors/producers, release date; title; version; archive/distributor, and the locator/identifier (doi preferred, or URL), and year.  Examples of citations are provided by ESIP.

Data sets or software should not be formally referenced or listed in the acknowledgments section. Rather, a section named Data and Materials Availability should follow the acknowledgments section and include a general statement indicating where the data are available and any issues regarding availability (e.g., all the data used are listed in the references or archived in xxx repositories).

These data sets should be cited as for all other references in the text and reference list as appropriate.

Data set with DOI available and individuals as authors

Doe, J. and R. Roe, 2001, The FOO Data Set: The FOO Data Center, Accessed 1 May 2011.

Data set with individual as author but no DOI available

O'Brien, M., 1994, 1994 Amoco statics test. Data set accessed 20 May 2004 at

Data set with DOI available and organization as author

The FOO Working Group, 2001,The FOO Data Set: The FOO Data Center, Accessed 1 May 2011.

Compilation of independent data sets with DOI available

Doe, J. (compiler) 2001, The FOO Collection: The FOO Data Center, Accessed 1 May 2011.


All illustrations must be submitted in electronic format. Illustrations submitted after the paper is accepted must meet the specifications listed below. Papers may be delayed or rejected if these illustration guidelines are not followed.


  • Is each illustration designed for Geophysics column sizes? (Standard sizes are 20 picas, or 3.33 inches, for one-column figures and 26 picas, or 4.33 inches, for one-and-one-third-column figures at required resolution.)


  • Are all graph labels in the same eight-point sans serif font such as Arial or Helvetica?
  • Is the first letter of graph labels capitalized?
  • Are the abscissa and ordinate of each graph labeled and are units denoted in parentheses?
  • Is there a title heading for each graph?
  • Is an en dash used instead of a hyphen to denote subtraction and negative numbers?
  • Are the graph's style, font, and format consistent with those in other figures, especially similar figures?
  • Is lettering within figures legible and not too large or too small?
  • Do labels on vertical axes read from bottom to top when the page is held vertically (from left to right when you rotate the page clockwise 90°) and are they centered vertically?
  • Are scalars italicized consistently in text, figures, and figure captions?
  • Are figure parts labeled (a), (b), etc., if parts are called out in the caption?

The body of illustrations should not contain titles or other textual material that can be placed in the caption. Exceptions to this rule will be considered only when clarity demands. Use standard Geophysics abbreviations in labeling scales.


  • Are all illustrations submitted in EPS, TIFF, or PNG format with color and grayscale images at a resolution of at least 300 dots per inch (dpi) and line art of at least 600 dpi (1200 dpi is preferred)? A graphics-editing application such as Adobe Photoshop may be helpful for preparing illustrations. Several shareware or freeware applications are available.
Sample figure at low resolution

Sample figure at low resolution

Sample figure at high resolution

Sample figure at high resolution


  • Are color figures formatted using CMYK (cyan-magenta-yellow-black), not RGB (red-green-blue)?
    Geophysics can accept RGB files and convert them to CMYK, but authors must carefully check proofs to ensure that color variations are accurately represented in captions.
  • Are grayscale or black-and-white figures submitted in grayscale or black and white?

General preparation tips

  • Is the figure number included in the margin of each figure for identification?
  • Is the correct orientation of the printed figure indicated? Use an upward-pointing arrow to show orientation.
  • Is each figure submitted in a separate digital file, named according to the figure number? A figure can be labeled when uploading a figure file to ScholarOne Manuscripts in the caption/legend area.
  • Are TIFF files saved with LZW compression enabled?

When submitting final production files, do not embed figures in documents, and do not submit figures in Microsoft Word or PowerPoint. Please do not produce figures by making straightforward screen dumps of the graphic output of a software package. This usually results in unnecessary decorations, gray background, unreadable axes and labels, overlapping labels, or low resolution. If the software has no other way of generating graphic output, high-resolution screen-dump images are allowed as part of the figures if unnecessary details are removed, proper axes and labels are added, and consistent formats are used for similar figures.

Black-and-white and color bars that accompany image and contour plots should be labeled with units denoted in parentheses. In the case of multiple plots, if the variables have the same unit and scale, for instance, the three components of the magnetic field, then one bar is enough, indicating a vector H (nT) and specifying the components as (a), (b), and (c) in the caption. If the plots represent different field variables, use additional bars, depending on the units and the scale limits of each variable.

Permission to reprint figures and tables

Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to use figures and tables previously published in other books or journals and for certifying that they have obtained all necessary permissions when executing copyright-transfer forms or license agreements. Letters from the copyright holders granting permission should accompany the manuscript. It is also the responsibility of the author to check reproduced materials against the originals for absolute accuracy.


Legal status of papers in review

Reviewers and other members of the editorial staff cannot legally use a submitted manuscript, including any associated code or essential multimedia, for any purpose other than the review process until a copyright-transfer form or license agreement is executed and received by the Society. It may not be shown, copied for personal use, or commercialized in any way. In the interest of personal protection for Associate Editors and SEG, these guidelines should be followed. SEG is not aware of any instances in which papers under review have been misused.

Double-blind peer review

As of 1 January 2018, Geophysics began using a double-blind review process. Author names and institutions are not revealed to the reviewers, and reviewers are anonymous unless they choose to be identified by signing their reviews. Editors proposed to change from single- to double-blind review in 2015 with the aim of reducing as much as possible either positive or negative bias that may affect the review process. After thorough evaluation and an author survey, editors decided in 2017 to introduce double-blind review beginning 1 January 2018. This is not an optional process. All authors must submit a separate title page and make efforts to conceal their identities within their text, including withholding the Acknowledgments section until the paper is accepted.

Review process

If the SEG Editor or an Assistant Editor decides that a submitted manuscript is relevant for Geophysics, it is sent to an appropriate Associate Editor, who secures detailed reviews from two or three knowledgeable, unbiased people. The reviewers send their comments to the Associate Editor, who forwards them, along with a recommendation, to an Assistant Editor. After considering the reviewers' comments and the Associate Editor's opinion and recommendation, the Editor or an Assistant Editor corresponds with the author. The Editor accepts, rejects, or requests modifications in the paper and sends the reviewers' and Associate Editor's comments to the author.

Because few papers are accepted for publication without author revisions, a second review is usually necessary (except in the case of Geophysics Letters, which will be discussed below). Depending on the extent of the revisions, the Associate Editor may check the changes or seek additional reviews. To keep Geophysics timely, the Editor, Assistant Editors, and Associate Editors ask reviewers to submit comments promptly. If a reviewer cannot meet this schedule or decides not to review a paper after its receipt, the journal staff should be notified immediately.

Online peer review

Associate Editors invite reviewers via e-mail through the online peer review system ( ).

Manuscripts are distributed in PDF format through the system, although original files also are available to reviewers. Reviewers download the manuscript for review. In the online review form, there is a space for comments directed to the author(s). This is a required field. These comments also are available to the Associate Editor. There also is a space for confidential comments to the editors, if needed. In addition, reviewers can upload separate documents to be viewed by the author(s) and editors.

If a reviewer's comments include equations or figures, they must be uploaded as a separate document because the online review form cannot accommodate complex equations or figures.

Reviewers can create a PDF file bearing their annotations and upload it as a separate document. If the author's paper was submitted in Word, reviewers can annotate it in Word and upload the annotated file. Alternatively, reviewers can use Adobe Acrobat editing tools for annotating an electronic copy of the manuscript and then upload that. Reviewers may choose to annotate a hard copy of the manuscript, scan it to a PDF, and then upload the PDF.

Reviewer's responsibilities

A reviewer has the following equally important responsibilities:

  • To evaluate the work's importance and relevance to geophysics. If the work is fundamental research, has the author clearly demonstrated why others in our community should find the results interesting? If the work is applied research or a case study, would readers learn anything from it? Case histories do not need to include new technology, but they should emphasize the impact the geophysical work had on a play, area, commodity, or technique. The impact determines the degree of reader interest and should weigh heavily in a reviewer's evaluation.
  • To critique scientific quality. Are the author's conclusions supported by the evidence presented? Were sound geophysical principles employed? Is previously published information presented as new material? Are there any flaws in the author's reasoning or mathematics? Was the experiment done carefully and with proper controls? Are all assumptions clearly stated?
  • To ensure that the material is communicated effectively and efficiently. Is the paper free of ambiguity? Are new concepts explained in sufficient detail? Are redundancies present? Does every part of the paper contribute to its theme? Are figures self-explanatory and well labeled? Are there large gaps in reasoning and mathematical developments? Are appendices needed?
  • A reviewer is not expected to rewrite a paper that is poorly written and structured; that is the job of the author, with help from the editors. The reviewer should try to identify problem areas, especially those that are difficult to understand and in which the technical information is not communicated clearly. Comments such as "This paragraph is confusing," "This section seems out of place," or "Awkward style" are often appropriate. Whenever possible, reviewers should be specific in identifying what is confusing or questionable.
  • To provide constructive feedback to authors. Criticism offered objectively can result in effective revisions and consequently a worthwhile paper. Conversely, blunt and brutal statements may insult and discourage an author and result in the loss of a useful contribution. A paper should not be rejected solely because the reviewer does not agree with an author's conclusions, comments, or interpretation. Instead, the reviewer should list objections and ask the author to address them in the revision. The reviewer should refrain from derogatory comments and should make constructive suggestions to improve the paper.


Geophysics editors and the SEG publication staff have made strong efforts to reduce the review and publication turnaround times. These efforts, including adoption of online manuscript handling, creation of rapid review sections, and implementation of shorter turnaround schedules (since 2005), have produced significant results. Geophysics is now a leader among its peers in efficiency.

The deadlines for editors, authors, and SEG staff are enforced actively. If an author misses deadlines, the paper will be withdrawn. The author still can submit the revised paper as a new manuscript, however. In that case, if the author alerts the SEG staff when submitting the revision shortly after the due date, the staff will try to contact the Assistant Editor and Associate Editor so previous reviews are accounted for. (SEG cannot guarantee that previous reviews will be accounted for, however.) SEG hopes that enforcing a rigorous turnaround schedule and offering assistance for continuity of review of overdue papers resubmitted as new papers are reasonable compromises between flexibility and the need to avoid indefinite delays by some editors and authors. SEG also hopes these steps are worth the extra effort by authors, editors, and the SEG editorial staff to improve the overall quality and efficiency of the journal.

These are the turnaround times for authors:

  • submitting the revision requested by the Assistant Editor: five weeks for a minor/moderate revision, eight weeks for a moderate revision, 10 weeks for a moderate/major revision
  • submitting revisions on the PDF of the proofs: five business days

For more information about turnaround times in the review cycle, see this manuscript processing schedules graphic.


Geophysics publishes special sections/supplements with several issues throughout the year. Dates for submission, review, editing, acceptance, and publication are published with the call for papers for that topic. The aim is to publish these papers with a turnaround time close to that of regular technical papers.

Generally, the submission deadline would be three to four months after the call for papers is published. The review and editing process would take no longer than seven months. Papers should be published online and in print within 10 months of the submission deadline.

Information about special sections/supplements is available in the SEG Library.

Geophysics LETTERS

Since 2005, Geophysics has published articles classified as "Geophysics Letters," which are published on an accelerated schedule (typically no more than eight months from submission to publication). These concise articles present important scientific advances likely to have immediate influence on the research of other investigators. In addition to authors in the applied geophysics research community, scientists in other fields with advances that will affect research in applied geophysical sciences are encouraged to publish in Geophysics Letters.

The guidelines for organizing and submitting any Geophysics article apply to letters also, including the requirement that the paper include an abstract. In addition, the following are requirements specific to Geophysics Letters:

  • Authors must designate a Geophysics Letters submission as such when submitting the paper.
  • Authors must identify at least four potential reviewers.
  • Authors must include figures and captions at the end of their manuscripts and not within the text, even when submitting for review, so that page estimates can be calculated.
  • In the cover letter, authors should include a clear statement as to why the manuscript is suitable to be published in Geophysics Letters.

Geophysics Letters papers cannot exceed four typeset pages. (A general guideline for estimating the length of a printed article is to divide the number of words by 1000 and then add 35% of the number of figures and tables.)

Manuscripts submitted to Geophysics Letters will be expected to meet high standards with respect to language. No editorial resources will be available to assist authors in this regard prior to acceptance.

To meet rapid turnaround requirements, manuscripts may be returned to authors without being sent out for review if the editorial team considers them unsuitable for Geophysics Letters because of content or format. In such cases, authors may consider submitting the manuscripts as ordinary papers in Geophysics.

An Assistant Editor and five Associate Editors will handle papers submitted as Geophysics Letters. The Associate Editor will have four days to assign reviewers, who will then have 14 days to review the manuscript. An article submitted to Geophysics Letters typically will receive only one cycle of review. The article can be accepted as is or marked for minor revision (with seven days allowed for author revision) or moderate revision (with 10 days allowed for author revision).

Once a Geophysics Letters manuscript is approved for publication, authors must upload the final documents, as well as the publication forms, to the online system. Digital submission requirements detailed elsewhere in "Instruction to Authors" will be enforced rigorously.

Geophysics SECTIONS

Below is a list of the Geophysics sections to serve as an approximate guide for categorizing papers for review and publication. A paper suitable for publication in Geophysics might not necessarily fit perfectly into any of the existing sections, or it might fit well into more than one section. Categories and their descriptions can change based on the evolving interest in the exploration-geophysics community.

Geophysics section headings for 2018

Borehole Geophysics
Case Histories
Electrical and Electromagnetic Methods
Engineering and Environmental Geophysics
Geophysical Software and Algorithms
Geophysics Letters
Gravity Exploration Methods
Ground-penetrating Radar
Interdisciplinary Studies
Interpretation Methods
Magnetic Exploration Methods
Magnetic Resonance Sounding
Mining Geophysics
Passive Seismic Methods
Reservoir Geophysics
Rock Physics
Seismic Amplitude Interpretation
Seismic Attributes and Pattern Recognition
Seismic Data Acquisition
Seismic Interferometry
Seismic Inversion
Seismic Migration
Seismic Modeling and Wave Propagation
Seismic Velocity/Statics
Signal Processing
Tutorials and Expository Discussions


Papers will be posted online within a few days of final acceptance prior to editing and composition. Authors will receive a proof from the production vendor and may request subsequent proofs. Please note that additional proofing rounds cause delays in publication of the final version. After a paper has been edited, composed, and proofread, the final version of record will be published online in advance of print publication.

NOTE: Please bear in mind that the online version of your paper is not another version of the author proof or an opportunity for the author to revise the paper. The online PDF version is the version of record. It is an exact representation of the version that was approved for publication in print. Changes in the online or printed version should be limited to factual or typographical errors serious enough to warrant publication of an erratum. Changes in the online version can result in the paper being withdrawn temporarily from the online site.

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