Welcome to the first 1999 part of the Journal of the Geological Society. Three years have passed since my incoming editorial and so it is timely to re-state the principles and standards which guide our publishing team. In particular I want to reinforce our desire to allow the subject matter of the journal to evolve as the discipline matures.

Here is where we are

The Journal is one of the most widely available, as well as highly cited geoscience journals. In addition to over 4100 personal copies selected by Fellows of the Society, the Journal is also held by over 600 libraries world-wide.

The Journal is particularly well known internationally for its wide coverage of world geology, including geochronological studies, and for works which elucidate large-scale geological structures. Many such papers in the Journal synthesize a wide variety of types of data and would not be suitable in a specialist journal. We also publish a significant proportion of more specialist, but still high-quality papers in which authors are successfully cajoled to place the results of their studies in a wider context so that their results can be appreciated by the readership as a whole. We reject around 40–50% of submissions. This is likely to increase due to pressure arising from increasing submissions and length of papers. The rejected manuscripts are often good, but fail to address a wider readership than that of a specialist journal.

In most issues we publish Specials: short articles (up to 4 published pages) on

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