Official Journal of the International Association of Geoanalysts

Authors' Guide

PART 1: Scope of Journal and editorial policy
Aim of Journal
Original research
Data compilations
Characterisation of reference materials
Refereeing policy
Submission requirements

PART 2: Style and format requirements

Preparation of Manuscripts
Presentation of text
Style requirements
Reference list
Page charges and reprints

PART 3: Technical Requirements (for electronic documents)
Figures and illustrations
File formats


Published in Volume 21, No. 2 (Dec. 1997), pp. 345-347.


PART 1: Scope of Journal and editorial policy

Aim of Journal

'Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research' is an international journal dedicated to advancing the science of reference materials, analytical techniques and data quality relevant to the chemical analysis of geological and environmental samples. Papers are accepted for publication following peer review.


Papers accepted for publication will fall into one of the following categories:

(a) Original research papers that make a significant contribution to advancing scientific knowledge in any of the following fields:


  1. Developments in analytical techniques including methods suitable for the bulk, isotopic or microprobe analysis of geological and environmental samples.
  2. The results of studies of geological and environmental reference materials and analytical methods.
  3. Developments in the statistical analysis of reference material, and other geoanalytical or environmental data, including aspects supporting the concept of 'fitness for purpose'.

(b) Data compilations that represent the results of:

  1. New collaborative studies on analytical methods.
  2. New certification studies on reference samples.
  3. New results from proficiency testing trials of laboratories.
  4. Revisions of previously published reference material data that demonstrate a significant improvement in the quality of specified reference values or present values for additional constituents.
  5. Revisions of previously published reference material data that extends the use of the reference material to new areas of application (e.g. to microanalysis or speciation studies).

Compilations must be accompanied by a careful evaluation of data to demonstrate an improvement compared with previously published data. In particular, compilations of previously published data must demonstrate that there is a statistically significant difference between new and previous compiled values with evidence that the new compiled value is a better estimate of the true value. If these criteria cannot be demonstrated, reference should be made to the earlier compilation and source data omitted from the new compilation.

(c) Contributions to the characterisation of reference materials. Papers that offer new results for the analysis of reference materials must include:


  1. A demonstration that a detailed investigation has been undertaken of technique optimisation, interference effects, matrix corrections and precision by including details in the paper or by reference to a previous publication.
  2. An evaluation of bias, an estimation of the uncertainty in individual values presented and a demonstration of the extent to which the results comply with the concept of traceability,.
  3. An overall impression that the data presented is state of the art' in relation to the capabilities of contemporary laboratories.

(d) Reviews and topical commentaries that discuss progress or topical developments in any area that is of general interest to the geoanalytical community. Authors considering offering such contributions should first contact the Editors-in-Chief.

Refereeing policy

To maintain the highest standards, all manuscripts offered for publication will normally be reviewed by two independent referees who will be asked to judge the paper by the criteria set out above. The comments and recommendations of the referees will be reviewed by the Editors-in-Chief who will decide whether or not to accept the paper for publication. The decision of the Editors-in-Chief in judging the merit of a contribution is final. The Journal is committed to as rapid a possible publication schedule of high quality contributions. Every effort will be made to minimise delays.

Submission requirements

Submissions to Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research are made on-line using ScholarOne Manuscripts. To submit an article to the journal go to

In addition to conforming to the above criteria, manuscripts must comply with the details of style and format given in Part 2 of this guide.

To ensure maximum dissemination of information, contributions should be written in the English language, following the conventions of British English.

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PART 2: Style and format requirements

Please read carefully and adhere strictly to these instructions to ensure that the review and publication of your paper is as quick and efficient as possible

Preparation of Manuscripts

Authors should study a recent issue of Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research to ensure that papers correspond in format and style with the Journal issues after Volume 21 (June 1997) [Click here for an example layout]. Notwithstanding the formatting constraints given here, authors are encouraged to present the work as they would like to see it published.

Papers should be formatted at A4 (or US letter or equivalent ) size, with sufficient margins on either side, and all pages numbered sequentially. The lines should be double spaced, in a single, left justified, column, without a double space character after a full stop. A blank line should follow all titles, sections and paragraphs, without the use of tabs. The approximate position for insertion of tables and figures should be indicated. Special characters, chemical formulae or mathematical equations should be carefully typeset. To facilitate the distinguishing of accents and punctuation marks etc., lower case typescript should be used for preparation of the entire manuscript, using capitals only when necessary (e.g., at the beginning of a new sentence or the first letter of proper names). Footnotes should be avoided. Spelling should follow the conventions of British English.

Presentation of text

The text should be arranged as follows:

Title page:

  • Title
  • Authors, name(s), preceded by first name in full and initials for further names.
  • Complete address(es) of the author(s), together with e-mail address(es) of the corresponding author for inclusion on published title page.
  • Current phone or fax numbers for ease of communication.

Abstract: Summarise briefly the work undertaken and the principal conclusions in the language of the text, without abbreviations and reference citations. French-speaking authors are also requested to submit the French version if possible.

Keywords. Authors should include up to five keywords which best represent the scope of the paper.

The main body of the paper:

Introduction: Summarise work already undertaken in the field of study by other authors as well as the current authors to justify undertaking the present work. Summarise the principal scientific aims of the present paper. The introduction should demonstrate that the authors are fully aware of related work and show that the work to be presented in the paper represents a novel and previously unpublished contribution to science.

Experimental: Give details of the work undertaken by the authors by reference to previous published work or give sufficient detail so that a competent independent investigator could repeat the experimental work. The experimental section should be written in the past tense (being a report of work already undertaken).

Results/discussions: Present the principal results of the work and their interpretation and wider scientific significance, with appropriate literature references.

Conclusions: Summarise briefly the conclusions of the work. This section should not include a further interpretation of results.

Acknowledgements: To individuals and/or organisations that have made a significant contribution to the paper. Personal acknowledgements should precede those of institutions or agencies. Incorporate the acknowledgement section as part of the text, not as a footnote.

References: List in alphabetical order in the format described below. Authors are asked to take particular care in checking the accuracy of reference citations. Please note that from Volume 28, the present journal should be referenced as 'Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research'.

Figures and Tables: Include a separate list of figures and tables with their captions.

Style requirements

Citations in the text

References cited in the text must give the name of the author(s) followed by the date of publication of the paper, using the normal et al., convention if the author list is greater than two. Author citations should be included in parentheses if the citation is not an integral part of the sentence, e.g. "The analytical methods normally employed for the determination of Mo in geological reference materials are spectrophotometry (Terashima 1980a, b, Quin and Brooks 1975, Aruscavage and Campbell 1981), graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (de Castro et al. 1988, Rowbottom 1991)...". Please note that there is no comma between the author's name and the date, and that et al. (and other Latin words) should be underlined.

Reference list

References should be listed in alphabetical order of first author then chronologically when several references by the same first author are cited. If there are several references by the same author for a given year, they should be distinguished by appending a, b, c, etc. to the year (e.g., 1998a).

References included in the reference list should include the following details:

  1. The family name of the author(s) followed by their initial(s);
  2. The year of publication (in parentheses);
  3. The full title of the paper;
  4. The full name of the journal and the volume number and
  5. The numbers of the first and last pages of the paper.

For books, the name of the book should be given, followed by the publisher, place of publication, and the number of pages in the book. For papers in edited volumes, the name(s) of the editor(s) should be given, followed by the title of the volume, its publisher and the numbers of the first and last pages of the paper in question.

References should be typescripted in lower case to ensure that the accents and typographical characters of each language are clearly distinguishable, and should follow the punctuation and style given in the following examples:

Rosner M., Wiedenbeck M. and Ludwig T. (2008)
Composition-induced variations in SIMS instrumental mass fractionation during boron isotope ratio measurements of silicate glasses. Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research, 32, 27-38.

Govindaraju K. (1989)
1989 compilation of working values and sample description for 272 geostandards. Geostandards Newsletter, 13 (Special Issue), 113pp.

Hinton R.W. (1995)
Ion microprobe analysis in geology. In: Potts P.J., Bowles J.F.W., Reed S.J.B. and Cave M.R. (eds), Microprobe techniques in the Earth sciences. Mineralogical Society (London), 235-289.

Jarvis K.E., Gray A.L. and Houk R.S. (1992)
A handbook of inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Blackie (Glasgow), 380pp.

Longerich H.P., Jenner G.A., Fryer B.J. and Jackson S.E. (1990)
Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometric analysis of geological samples: A critical evaluation based on case studies. Chemical Geology, 83, 105-118.

Figures and illustrations should be submitted separate from the text. Since most graphs/charts/diagrams will be reduced for publication to a single column width, authors should ensure that a sufficiently large point size is chosen for symbols, annotation, and weight of lines so that these features will be distinguishable in the reduced version. Symbols can be identified either in the caption or in the figure (provided that clarity is retained). Care should be taken when choosing fonts, to ensure consistency and harmony with the overall appearance of the Journal. Acronyms, terms, reference citations and concentration units mentioned in figures and illustrations must correspond with the journal's house style. Spelling should follow the conventions of British English.

Tables should be submitted separate from the text, numbered accordingly and to include their title/caption above, and any footnote text below.


The acronyms listed below can be used in manuscripts without definition. Any other acronym used in a paper must be defined in full at the first appearance in the text.

Reference material producers and other organisers


BAS Bureau of Analysed Samples
BCR Community Bureau of Reference
CCRMP Canadian Certified Reference Material Programme
CRPG Centre de Recherches Pétrographiques et Géochimiques
GSJ Geological Survey of Japan
IAG International Association of Geoanalysts
ISO International Organisation for Standardisation
NBS National Bureau of Standards
NIST National Institute for Science and Technology
USGS United States Geological Survey



AAS atomic absorption spectrometry
ED energy dispersive
EPMA electron probe microanalysis
ICP-AES inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry
ICP-MS inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry
INAA instrumental neutron activation analysis
LA-ICP-MS laser ablation inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry
PIXE particle (proton) induced X-ray emission
SEM scanning electron microscopy
SIMS secondary ion mass spectrometry
TEM transmission electron microscope
TIMS thermal ionisation mass spectrometry
XRF X-ray fluorescence
WD wavelength dispersive

Analytical terms


CRM certified reference material
RM reference material
RSD relative standard deviation (specify concentration units)
s standard deviation (finite population)
x-bar mean (finite population)

Concentration units


  • Use % m/m (for per cent by mass) or % m/v or % v/v as appropriate if concentration units are by volume.
  • Use µg g-1 (for trace concentration by mass) or µg ml-1 (for trace concentration by volume), not ppm).
  • Use mol l-1 not M for the molar concentration (e.g. Samples were acidified with HCl (1 mol l-1) and mixed with NaCl solution (5 ml of 10% m/v).


Manuscripts should use SI units throughout and adhere to the latest ISO and IUPAC approved terminology. Contributors should, in particular, use analytical terms and definitions published in 'International vocabulary of basic and general terms in metrology' (VIM, ISO Guide 99 2nd edition) which is published in three parts: Part 1 Basic and general terms (international); Part 2 Vocabulary of legal metrology - fundamental terms and Part 3 Guide to the expression of uncertainty in measurement, published in 1996 by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).

Authors should also consult the following references for guidance:


  • The international system of units (8th edition): 2006. Bureau International de Poids et Mesures (Sèvres, France).
  • Guide to the expression of uncertainty in measurement. ISO Guide 98: 1995.
  • Terms and definitions used in connection with reference materials. ISO Guide 30: 1992.
  • Reference materials - Contents of certificates and labels. ISO Guide 31: 2000.
  • Calibration in analytical chemistry and the use of certified reference materials. ISO Guide 32: 1997.
  • Uses of certified reference materials. ISO Guide 33: 2000.
  • General requirements for the competence of reference material producers. ISO Guide 34: 2000, Cor 1: 2003.
  • Reference materials - General and statistical principles for certification. ISO Guide 35: 2006.

Page charges and reprints

It is the policy of the Journal not to impose page charges for authors unless corrections of more than 10% are introduced after the manuscript has been typeset. The principal author will receive a PDF file of the final published article, the use of which is governed by the 'exclusive licence agreement' (see Copyright, below). Reprints are available by batch, and details of how to order will be sent to the corresponding author upon publication.


Copyright in an article published in Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research remains in the author's name (or the employer's name if the employer owns copyright in the work).

In order for articles to be distributed as widely as possible in Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research the author grants the Publisher (Wiley-Blackwell) an exclusive licence to publish his or her article on behalf of the International Association of Geoanalysts (including the abstract in printed and electronic form). Copyright (© 2007--) in the compilation of material in the Journal is vested in the International Association of Geoanalysts. All rights reserved.

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PART 3: Technical Requirements (for preparation of electronic documents)

Electronic files comprising the manuscript must be submitted online via ScholarOne Manuscripts. When preparing documents for submission, authors are requested to comply with the recommendations for style and format given in Part 2 of the Authors' Guide, together with those outlined below.


Most word processing formats can be accepted: Preferred software: Microsoft Word.


Submit as separate files, not embedded in the main text file. Preferred software: Microsoft Excel.

Figures and illustrations

Submit as separate files, not embedded in the main text file. Preferred software: Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop or PDF.

File formats: TIFF (for continuous tone [photographs], either as greyscale or CMYK colour spaces, at 300 dpi resolution), TIFF (for single-bit [scanned black & white line art] as bitmap colour space, at 600 dpi resolution); EPS or PDF (for vector line art, either as greyscale or CMYK colour space) and EPS or PDF (for combination half-tone and line art, as either greyscale or CMYK colour spaces, and line art as vector and at resolution of 300 dpi for embedded raster images). See also:

This page last updated 6 October 2014

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