Preparing an Initial Submission

Please read this section before preparing your manuscript files. This page contains full instructions to help you prepare and format your initial submission, including the main text, figures and tables, references, supplementary files and other important items.

Our editorial team will always advise and work with authors to develop their submissions to a publishable level. This includes helping them to improve the readability and structure of their accepted manuscripts prior to publication, such that the wider geoscience community can fully understand and build upon the published research. We can also advise and help authors to improve the quality and clarity of display items (figures and tables) prior to publication.

Topics covered in this page include:

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The manuscript should be supplied as a single file (pdf, doc or docx). Text should be in a single column, 1.5 line spacing and pages and lines numbered. This file should contain a title page, abstract, main text, acknowledgements, additional information, references, figures, tables and captions.

Each of these items are described in more detail, below.


Title page

Include the article title, author name(s) and their affiliations and addresses, email address for the corresponding author, 5 keywords and the abstract. The title should be concise and convey a sense of the study outcome. For example, use a declarative style that states or points towards the main conclusion or outcome of your study, rather than the broad topic of interest. For example:

Topic-based title: “Titanite precipitation in Paleogene sandstones from a volcanic terrane, East Greenland”

Declarative title: “U-Pb dating identifies titanite precipitation in Paleogene sandstones from a volcanic terrane, East Greenland”

Keywords should be in alphabetical order.



The abstract should provide brief context for the study, a clearly formulated research question and aim(s), and a summary of the key results and conclusions reached. Avoid subject-specific terminology and acronyms and write for a broadly scientific audience. The maximum word limit for abstracts varies according to the article type: 6-page short papers (200 words), 20-page research and review articles (300 words). Do not use citations in the abstract.


Main text

Follow a logical structure that starts with an 'introduction' to establish the rationale for the study. The introduction should provide relevant background information to understand the rationale, a statement of the knowledge gap to be addressed and the research question(s), as well as the study's aims and objectives. From here, any further background information and new results should be introduced in a logical order. For example, include a section to summarise the study area, including the geological or climatological setting, as appropriate, followed by a section to describe the methods (and materials) used. Results and discussions should follow, then conclusions or summary.



The introduction should provide context to understanding the rationale of the study and define the research question that the study aims to address. Ideally, the research question should appear in the opening sentences of the article. The rest of the introduction should expand upon this background information and close with concise, clearly formulated aims and objectives. To maintain a good structure, make sure that the aims and objectives are listed in the same order in which they are later addressed in the paper. Both the abstract and the introduction should be written, such that a reader from any geoscience field might understand. An effective introduction avoids subject-specific terminology, but where it is necessary such terms should always be defined.



Document all methods such that (1) a reader understands how all data were collected and analysed and (2) a qualified person might replicate them. In short papers (6 pages) the methodology can be provided as a supplementary file, or if there is space, authors can include a brief summary in the main text with a more detailed methodology supplied as supplementary information. Standard methods need not be described in full if suitable references are cited. Otherwise, document all field methods and sample collection procedures, software, laboratory analyses (including the make and model of analytical equipment) and statistical treatments of data.


Results and discussions

These sections need not be labelled as such, but the manuscript must include some description and discussion of the main trends shown in the data presented. Cite (and describe) each figure or table in the same order in which they are numbered. And avoid vague descriptions of data as “high” or “low”, without citing examples.

Don’t write: “Pb values are high in the top 20 cm of soil. Lower values are observed in deeper soils.”

Do write: “Pb values are elevated in the top 20 cm of soil (225 ppm). Lower values are observed below 5 m depth (100 ppm).”

Where relevant include uncertainties or a suitable statistical measure of the likely spread of values observed in the data.


Conclusions or summary

The conclusions or summary section should not simply repeat text already presented in the manuscript. Rather, it should build upon the main outcomes of the study and set the results in a broader context of the overarching field. For example, state how the results have addressed the research question and how they may contribute to advancing knowledge in the field. You may consider closing the manuscript with a brief statement on the next steps for any future research.



Contributions that do not meet the authorship criteria might be better recognised in an acknowledgement. Authors might wish to thank colleagues for their technical, analytical or field assistance. We recommend that authors seek permission from so-named individuals, since their acknowledgement might imply that they endorse the work.

It is also common practice to thank reviewers for their comments, which often help to develop the manuscript for publication. Acknowledgements should be brief and concise, avoiding personal sentiments and superlative language.


Additional information

Funding statement: All sources of financial support for the study (or parts of the study) must be acknowledged, including grants, or funds from private companies or the authors’ host institutions. Include the grant number where available. Example formats include:

“This study was supported by [insert funder name], grant number [insert grant number].”

“Fieldwork was funded by [insert institution/company name].”

“Analyses were paid for by [insert funding body and grant number if relevant].”

Author contributions: All submissions to GEUS Bulletin should include a brief statement of who contributed to the work and in what capacity. State the initials of each author followed by their contribution. Example format, where “KS” and “DJR” are the initials of two co-authors:

“KS: modelling, statistical analyses, wrote the first draft of the manuscript. DJR: collected field samples, drafted and revised the manuscript.”

Competing interests: Authors are required to declare any actual or perceived competing interests. For example, where the authors have a competing financial interest that may be perceived to impact the publication of the work. Example formats include:

“The authors declare no competing interests”

“KS and DJR are consultants for the company who funded the work.”

Additional files: Here, authors can include DOI or URL links to data produced as part of the study. If supplementary files were included in the submission, it is mentioned here in the article pdf with a link to the article. Example formats:

“Data produced as part of this study are available for download/purchase at [insert data repository url or DOI where the data can be accessed].”

“The software developed for this study is available for download/purchase at [insert URL or DOI].”


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Manuscript length

Short articles are limited to 6 pages of typeset manuscript, which corresponds to c. 3000 words and 4 mid-sized display items. This word limit includes all components of the manuscript: title, authors and affiliations, abstract, main text, acknowledgements, additional information, references and captions.

Regular research articles are limited to 20 pages of typeset manuscript.

For guidance, one typeset page of unbroken text or a full-size display item typically corresponds to 800 words. A mid-sized display item corresponds to half a page or 400 words. A small figure corresponds to a quarter of a page or 200 words.

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Display items (figures and tables)


For the initial submission, authors do not need to submit final, publication-quality display items. Figures and tables are to be supplied as part of the manuscript file, in the size intended for publication and at a resolution that allows the editors and reviewers to assess the data.

Authors will be sent further instructions to prepare their final artwork should the manuscript be accepted. However, authors may wish to follow these brief guidelines when preparing their figures for the initial submission to aid the review and production process:

  1. Prepare all figures to at least 300 dpi resolution, including all component parts of an image where, for example, multiple photos are combined into a single figure.
  2. If the software gives the option, choose RGB colour space.
  3. Prepare figures to the size intended for publication. GEUS Bulletin standard widths are 82 mm (one column) and 171 mm (two columns). We can also accommodate 1.5 columns (112 mm). The maximum page height is 235 mm.
  4. At these sizes, use a minimum font size 7pt, maximum size 9pt, in a widely available sans serif font such as Helvetica or Arial.
  5. Use the same font for all figures.
  6. Provide a scale (metric) and geographic information (latitude and longitude), where relevant. Generally, all maps should have coordinates.
  7. Clearly define all symbols, shading, lines or other features in a legend or caption.
  8. Use upper case or lower-case letters to identify each panel in a composite figure.

Any questions concerning the preparation of display items and file formats can be addressed to the subject editor or by emailing the graphics team at



Tables should be included in the manuscript file. In accepted manuscripts, tables will be formatted during the production stage. However, authors can aid the review and production process by adhering to the following guidelines:

  1. Prepare tables to the size intended for publication. GEUS Bulletin standard widths are 82 mm (one column) and 171 mm (two columns). The maximum page height is 235 mm.
  2. At these sizes, use a minimum font size 7pt, maximum size 9pt, in a widely available sans serif font such as Helvetica or Arial.
  3. Always prepare tables in portrait over landscape format where possible.
  4. Each table must have a short title. Table number written as “Table 1.”
  5. Use footnotes below the table to define all symbols, abbreviations or data sources. Each footnote should be labelled as “a, b, c, or 1, 2, 3 etc” (lowercase, superscript).



Figure captions should be concise and should not duplicate the main text. They should provide enough detail such that the figure can be understood separate to the main text. But they should not contain lengthy descriptions of the results, discussions or methodology.

Ideally the first sentence of any caption should provide a short statement to summarise the title of the entire figure, followed by an explanation of any individual panels. All symbols, abbreviations, shading, lines or other features should be defined in either the caption or a legend.

The word ‘Figure’ is abbreviated to ‘Fig.’ at the beginning of the caption (E.g. “Fig. 1  This is a caption.”).

Photo credits are in the form “Photo: Poul Davidson” with a year if relevant. No credit is needed for photographs taken by a co-author.

Provide credit for figures reproduced wholly or partially from elsewhere as follows:

  1. “Reproduced with permission from Svennevig (2019).” I.e. the figure is an exact copy of the original and permission has been granted for reproduction.
  2. “Slightly modified from Svennevig (2019).” I.e. minor changes to the original figure.
  3. “Modified from Svennevig (2019).” I.e. significant changes.
  4. “Based on Svennevig (2019).” I.e. totally re‐designed but elements or ideas from the original are still present.

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Citations and reference styles

To facilitate review and production, authors may wish to adopt the GEUS Bulletin style for in-text citations of display items (figures, tables and supplementary files) and references, and the full list of references at the end of the manuscript. This is not mandatory for the initial submission as all accepted manuscripts will be formatted prior to publication. However, authors should be consistent with their style of citations and reference formatting.

The GEUS Bulletin styles are outlined below for authors who wish to adopt them in their submission.

Download the full reference stylesheet (PDF).


Citing figures, tables and supplementary files

Number all display items (figures, tables and supplementary files) in the order in which they are cited in the main text.

The GEUS Bulletin style for in-text citations of display items is as follows: ‘Fig. 1’, ‘Figs 1A–C’ and ‘Table 1’. Citation of display items from other papers are ‘fig. 1’, ‘table 1’. Where a figure is cited at the beginning of a new sentence, it is not abbreviated, i.e. 'Figure 1.'


Citing references

The GEUS Bulletin style for in-text citations of references is as follows:

  1. For 1 author, cite the name and year of publication: (Hansen 2019) or Hansen (2019).
  2. For 2 authors, use an ampersand (&) between names: (Hansen & Jensen 1996) or Hansen & Jensen (1996).
  3. For 3 or more authors, cite the first author’s name followed by et al. in italics: (Fausto et al. 2018) or Fausto et al. (2018)
  4. Lists of papers by different authors are separated by a semicolon (Hansen 1996; Andersen 1999; Børgesen 2000) and cited chronologically.
  5. Two or more papers by the same author(s) are separated by commas (Hansen 2015, 2018, 2019).

Unpublished reports and repository-hosted pre-prints (with a DOI) may be cited. Papers marked as ‘in press’ (i.e. papers that have been accepted) may be cited when a version of record is available online, preferably with a DOI.

Personal communications (verbal and written, including manuscripts that are submitted or in preparation) are given with initials and year e.g. (P.V. Herz, personal communication 2008). Another form is: (P.V. Herz, unpublished data 2008). A published paper, book or conference abstract is always a preferred source.


Reference style

All citations that appear in the main text, figures, tables and captions must be listed in the references section.

References will be formatted during production, but they will not be checked for accuracy. Remember, it is the author’s responsibility to check that all references are correct and provided in full.

Always include a DOI where available. DOIs are provided in the format Use the CrossRef Metadata Search to check the DOI before submitting your manuscript.

If you supply a URL, please include the month and year that the resource was accessed at that URL.

The GEUS Bulletin style is outlined here for those authors who wish to adopt it in their submission:

  1. List references alphabetically by (1) first author’s surname and (2) by second author’s surname, then chronologically.
  2. Ten or more authors or 3 or more editors are shortened to the first author’s name and initial followed by “et al.”.
  3. Use the full journal title and book publisher name. For website citations include the date (month and year) the site was accessed. Datasets should include a DOI or URL to the dataset online.
  4. No comma between author name(s) and year, and no space between author initials, but with a point.
  5. If using a reference software tool, we recommend exporting references in APA or Chicago style and amend to our inhouse format using the examples below.


Common referencing examples:

Abstract: Kjeldsen, K.K., Khan, S.A., Colgan, W.T. & Fausto, R.S. 2018: Improving mass balance estimates of large outlet glaciers from the Greenland Ice Sheet. Washington D.C., USA, 4–10 December, 2018. AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts.

Article: Szynkiewicz, A., Olichwer, T. & Tarka, R. 2020: Delineation of groundwater provenance in Arctic environment using isotopic compositions of water and sulphate. Journal of Hydrology 580, 124232.

Article/chapter in book: Thurston, P.C. & Chivers, K.M. 1990: Secular variation in greenstone sequence development emphasizing Superior Province, Canada. In: Gaal, G. & Groves, D.I. (eds): Precambrian ore deposits related to tectonics. Precambrian Research 46, 21–58.

Book: Masaitis, V. L. & Naumov, M. V. (eds.). 2020: The Puchezh-Katunki Impact Crater. Impact Studies. 213 pp. Springer International Publishing.

Computer programme: R Core Team. 2017: R. A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria.

Dataset: Porter, C. et al. 2018: ArcticDEM V2, Harvard Dataverse.

Map: Pedersen, A.K., Larsen, L.M., Pedersen, G.K. & Dueholm, K.S. 2008: Geological map of the area around Sikillingi, western Nuussuaq, central West Greenland, 1:20 000. Copenhagen: Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland.

Download more reference style examples (PDF).

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Supplementary information and data files

Authors can include supplementary files as part of their submission. For example:

  • In short articles, methods can be described in a supplementary file.
  • In all articles, information that is of a technical nature, but not crucial to the main line of argument might be best presented in supplementary files.
  • Data produced for the study can be included in supplementary files.

These files will be made available to the reviewers, who may suggest changes. Supplementary files are not typeset or copy-edited during production, so authors should take care to submit files that are spell checked and generally understandable.

When submitting supplementary files authors are asked to include a readme.docx file that lists the name of each file and briefly states their contents. Supplementary files are uploaded to the GEUS Bulletin Dataverse data repository, where they receive a DOI. This DOI is included in the published article.

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Use UK English. Refer to this glossary (PDF) for recommended spellings and usage according to the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), including geographical divisions and place names in Greenland and Denmark.

The abstract and introduction should be understandable to a scientist from any geoscience background. So far as possible, avoid using subject specific terminology in these sections. Else, define such terminology where appropriate.

We encourage authors to use active phrasing where possible, or a mix of passive and active phrasing. Active phrasing is especially useful to differentiate between activities carried out in the current study vs. activities completed in the past by other authors. For example, “we collected 71 samples from Disko, west Greenland” is a much clearer statement than “71 samples were collected from Disko, west Greenland”. Only in the former example is it clear who collected the samples and that they were collected as part of the current study. Depending on the context, the latter example could be confusing.

Avoid long sentences, with multiple clauses, which run for three or more lines in the manuscript.

Authors should ask a colleague whose written English is of an excellent standard to read their manuscript before submission.

A few things to note:

Abbreviations and italics. Latin words and some abbreviations are given in italics, for example c., et al., in situ, sensu lato, while others, such as cf., e.g., i.e., viz., are not.

Units of measure, symbols, letters etc. GEUS Bulletin uses the SI system (Système International) of units. For example, G (giga), M (mega), k (kilo), d (deci), m (milli), (micro), n (nanno), Ga (gigayear), Ma (megayear), km (kilometre), mm (millimetre) etc. Imperial units (feet etc.) may be retained for older subsurface data/samples.

Paleo vs. Palaeo. Either are accepted within a single manuscript, but not both.

Related information is available in the page: Other formatting considerations

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It is the authors’ responsibility to obtain permission to use published copyrighted material, and to state the licence and permission in the main text or caption. It is the author’s responsibility to ensure that the manuscript does not contain any confidential information.

In submitting to GEUS Bulletin, the authors agree to the conditions laid out in the journal’s policies on open access, copyright and licensing and intellectual property.


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Plagiarism and intellectual property

GEUS Bulletin considers the following to constitute plagiarism, as defined by the Council of Science Editors (CSE):

“[T]he unauthorized use or close imitation of the language (figures images or tables) and thoughts of others and the representation of them as one’s own original work without permission or acknowledgment by the author of the source of these materials.”

We consider self-plagiarism to fall within this category, i.e. where researchers re-use their own text or duplicate their own previously published reports without acknowledgment. This, is sometimes called text recycling, duplicate or redundant publication.

Submissions to GEUS Bulletin must not engage in plagiarism or self-plagiarism (text recycling, duplicate or redundant publication). Please read our full policy on intellectual property for further information.

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