Welcome to The Seismic Record—the newest journal of the Seismological Society of America (SSA). The Seismic Record joins the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA) and Seismological Research Letters (SRL) as the third peer‐reviewed SSA journal. Like its sister journals, The Seismic Record will publish original research articles on all aspects of seismology and earthquake science. We will not only publish papers in traditional SSA areas, such as earthquake source physics, seismic hazard analysis, seismotectonics, and so on, but we also aim to publish papers about Earth structure, from crust to core, and emerging subfields, such as cryoseismology, environmental seismology, and planetary seismology. To this end, we have recruited an editorial board with diverse backgrounds that can efficiently and rigorously handle manuscripts from any subfield within seismology and earthquake science.
The Seismic Record has three primary features that distinguish it from BSSA and SRL: papers will be published (1) rapidly, (2) in short format, and (3) with open access. These features were selected by the SSA Board of Directors, following numerous surveys, focus group sessions, personal interviews, and formal market research. In a very real sense, The Seismic Record is being launched to meet the stated publishing needs of the global community of seismological researchers. The Seismic Record will complement, not compete, with its sister journals. For this reason, we will not publish special themed issues, which are successfully produced by both BSSA and SRL.
With regard to rapid publication, The Seismic Record aims to publish manuscripts within two months of their initial submission to the editorial office. Associate editors will ask reviewers to respond within 10 business days of agreeing to review, and authors will be asked to respond within 10 business days of receiving their reviews. Members of the editorial board aim to make decisions and assignments involving manuscripts within two business days. To meet these ambitious goals, we have planned for a light editorial load, with the editor‐in‐chief, deputy editor‐in‐chief, and nine associate editors, handling manuscripts that will result in about 30 published papers in the first year. Therefore, each manuscript submitted to The Seismic Record will receive specialized and, if needed, customized attention from the science editors, as well as from the managing editor and the SSA publications team. Under no circumstances will rigor or quality be sacrificed in the name of speed. While our goal is to publish high‐impact, broadly interesting scientific results rapidly, we are committed to ensuring that anything published in The Seismic Record will stand the test of time.
The Seismic Record has three primary features that distinguish it from BSSA and SRL: papers will be published rapidly, in short format, and with open access.
Papers published in The Seismic Record will be limited to, approximately, 3500 words and five figures, with the goal of taking up no more than six typeset pages. This will not only allow for quicker handling of manuscripts, but also encourage authors to focus on one outstanding idea, observation, or finding. We feel such a focus will increase the visibility of the papers within the scientific community, and also make them easier to publicize with the media and the general public. We will encourage authors to submit data or processing products associated with their papers to a free, DOI‐granting, data repository prior to paper submission. A good example of such a repository is the one maintained by the International Seismological Centre, which accepts and curates event catalogs, velocity models, computer code, and more, at no cost to the author. In cases where additional methodological details are needed for the sake of clarity or reproducibility, The Seismic Record will accept an electronic supplement with the required information. However, manuscripts that naturally flow better as a single, long‐format document should be submitted to BSSA or SRL and not to The Seismic Record.
We feel such a focus will increase the visibility of the papers within the scientific community and make them easier to publicize with the media and the general public.
The third distinguishing feature of The Seismic Record is open access. Everything published in The Seismic Record will be freely available on the internet. We view the removal of a paywall as an inclusive action that will make the latest seismological research accessible to everyone. We anticipate that this policy will particularly benefit readers from lower‐middle‐income countries, community colleges, minority serving institutions, and small liberal arts colleges. These places often lack the resources for a broad institutional license—a perk that is sometimes taken for granted at research‐intensive institutions. Open access to papers published in The Seismic Record will also enhance outreach to the general public who want to learn about and use publicly funded research. To support open access, The Seismic Record will charge authors a fixed article processing charge (APC), instead of page charges. The APC is necessary to offset costs associated with editorial management, archiving and indexing papers, copy editing, and other operational duties. The current APC for papers published in The Seismic Record is $1750, with an additional 10% discount for SSA members. Need‐based APC waivers and discounts are available to authors residing in countries that meet Research4Life criteria. SSA will review the APC annually, making necessary adjustments to stay cost neutral as the number of manuscript submissions fluctuates.
SSA is an international non‐profit organization founded in the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. For nearly 115 yr, SSA has advanced the field of seismology and supported international collaboration among seismologists. As a non‐profit, SSA raises revenue through publishing, dues, and donations, and reinvests more than 83% of its revenue on its programmatic mission: publishing seismological research, hosting scientific conferences, advocating for seismology, supporting the development of junior seismologists, and addressing issues of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in the seismological community. However, no matter how hard the editorial board and the SSA publishing group work, we will not succeed without community support. Please give us a chance and consider submitting your next high‐quality, short‐format manuscript to The Seismic Record. We are counting on all of you to make The Seismic Record the latest SSA success story.