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Policies and Publication Ethics

Open Access and Copyright

All ES3 articles are published with open access under the CC-BY Creative Commons attribution license (the current version is CC-BY, version 4.0). This means that the author(s) retains copyright, but the content is free to download, distribute, and adapt for commercial or non-commercial purposes, given appropriate attribution to the original article.

Upon submission, the author(s) grants ES3 an exclusive license to publish, including to display, store, copy, and reuse the content. The CC-BY Creative Commons attribution license enables anyone to use the publication freely, given appropriate attribution to the author(s) and citing ES3 as the original publisher. The CC-BY Creative Commons attribution license does not apply to third-party materials that display a copyright notice to prohibit copying. Unless the third-party content is also subject to a CC-BY Creative Commons attribution license, or an equally permissive license, the author(s) must comply with any third-party copyright notices.

Registration with ES3

Please note that the corresponding and all submitting authors MUST register with ES3 before submitting an article. You must be logged in to your personal ES3 account to submit an article.

For any co-author who would like for their name to be included on the article abstract page and PDF to be linked to a ES3 profile on the Loop network, please register before the final publication of the paper.

Authorship and Author Responsibilities

Authorship should be limited to those who have made significant contributions to the concept, design, execution or interpretation of the work reported in a manuscript; others who have contributed should be acknowledged.

Author order should be agreed by all authors as should any changes in authors and order that occur while the manuscript is under review or revision. Changes in authorship must be submitted to the assigned scientific editor and must be approved by all authors involved.

Authors and co-authors should review and ensure the accuracy and validity of results prior to submission; co-authors should have the opportunity to review the manuscript before submission.

Contributors who do not meet these criteria, but nonetheless provided important contributions to the final manuscript, should be included in the acknowledgement section. It is the author's responsibility to get written approval by persons named in the acknowledgment section.

Author Contributions

In order to provide appropriate credit to all authors, as well as assigning responsibility and accountability for published work, individual contributions should be specified as an Author Contributions statement. The Author Contributions Statement is mandatory. It should represent all the authors and is to be included upon submission. It can be up to several sentences long and should briefly describe the tasks of individual authors. Please list only 2 initials for each author, without full stops, but separated by commas (e.g. JC, JS). In the case of two authors with the same initials, please use their middle initial to differentiate between them (e.g. REW, RSW) or second letter of the last name (e.g., RWe, RWa). Please see an example here:

"AB, CZD, and EF contributed to conception and design of the study. AB organized the database. CYD performed the statistical analysis. EF wrote the first draft of the manuscript. GH, IJ, AB, and EF wrote sections of the manuscript. All authors contributed to manuscript revision, read, and approved the submitted version".

Corresponding Author

The corresponding author takes primary responsibility for communication with the journal and Editorial Office during the submission process, throughout peer review, and during publication. The corresponding author is also responsible for ensuring that the submission adheres to all journal requirements including, but not exclusive to, details of authorship, study ethics and ethics approval, and conflict of interest declaration. The corresponding author should also be available post-publication to respond to any queries or critiques.

Requests to modify the author list after submission should be made to the Editorial Office, please contact:

Research Integrity: How to Reuse Text

Material submitted to ES3 must comply with the following policies to ensure ethical publication of academic work:

  • Original content and duplicate publication: ES3 only publishes original content. Authors confirm the submission of original content in the Terms & Conditions upon submission. Manuscripts submitted to ES3 must not have been previously published or be under consideration for publication elsewhere, either in whole or in part. If an article has been previously submitted for publication elsewhere, ES3 will only consider publication if the article has been definitively rejected by the other publisher(s) at the point of submission to ES3.

  • Fabrication and falsification: ES3 opposes both the fabrication of data or images (i.e. fake or made up data) and falsification of data or images (i.e. the intentional misrepresentation or deceptive manipulation of data).

  • Redundant publication: ES3 considers the submission and publication of very similar articles based on the same experiment or study to be unethical.

  • Plagiarism: Plagiarism occurs when an author attempts to present previously published work as original content. Every manuscript submitted to ES3 is screened for textual overlap by the software CrossCheck, powered by iThenticate. Manuscripts found to contain textual overlap are not considered for publication by ES3. We reserve the right to contact the affiliated institutions of authors who have not acted according to good research and publication practices.

Plagiarism and Duplication

ES3 checks all submitted manuscripts for plagiarism and duplication and publishes only original content. Those manuscripts where plagiarism or duplication is shown to have occurred will not be considered for publication in the journal. It is required that all submissions consist of content that has not been published previously. In accordance with COPE guidelines, we expect that "original wording taken directly from publications by other researchers should appear in quotation marks with the appropriate citations." This condition also applies to an author's own work.

Theses and Dissertations

ES3 allows the inclusion of content which first appeared in an author's thesis so long as this is the only form in which it has appeared, is in line with the author's university policy, and can be accessed online. If the thesis is not archived online, it is considered original, unpublished data and is subject to the unpublished data restrictions of some article types. Inclusion of material from theses or dissertations should be noted in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript AND cited accordingly in the reference list.

Conferences, Proceedings, and Abstracts

Manuscripts that first appeared as conference papers must be expanded upon if they are to be considered as original work. Authors are required to add a substantial amount of original content in the form of new raw material (experiments, data) or new treatment of old data sets which lead to original discussion and/or conclusions, providing value that significantly exceeds the original conference version. As a rule of thumb, at least 30% of the content must be original. Authors submitting such work are required to:

  • seek permission for reuse of the published conference paper if the author does not hold the copyright (proof of permission should be submitted as supplementary material or sent to the Editorial Office with the manuscript ID upon submission);

  • cite the conference in the Acknowledgements section, or the references section if applicable.


ES3 has a supportive preprint policy which encourages full open access at all stages of a research paper, to share and generate knowledge researchers need to support their work. Authors publishing in ES3 may share their work ahead of submission to a peer-reviewed journal, as well as during the ES3 review process, on repositories or preprint servers (such as EarthArXiv), provided that the server imposes no restrictions upon the author's full copyright and re-use rights. Also note that any manuscript files shared after submission to ES3, during the review process, cannot contain the ES3 logo or branding.

Correct attribution of the original source in repositories or preprint servers must be included within the manuscript on submission or added at re-submission if the deposition is done during the review process. We ask that the preprint is both listed within the acknowledgement section and the full citation included in the reference list.

If the article is published, authors are then strongly encouraged to link from the preprint server to the ES3 publication to enable readers to find, access, and cite the final peer-reviewed version. Please note that we cannot consider for publication content that has been previously published, or is already under review, within a scientific journal, book, or similar entity.


ES3 recognizes our responsibility to correct scientifically relevant errors in previously published articles. Authors should contact the Editorial Office directly. Corrections can be submitted if:

  • a small portion of an otherwise reliable publication proves to be misleading; OR

  • there is an error in a figure that does not alter the conclusions; OR

  • there is an error in statistical data not altering conclusions; OR

  • there are mislabeled figures; OR

  • the wrong slide of microscopy was provided; OR

  • if the author / contributor list is incorrect when a deserving author has been omitted or somebody who does not meet authorship criteria has been included.

A correction must be submitted through our submission system, authors should contact the Editorial Office first. The contribution to the field statement should be used to clearly state the reason for the correction and the title of the submission should have the following format: "Corrigendum: Title of original article".

If the error was introduced during the publishing process, the ES3 Editorial Office should be contacted.


The publisher of ES3 is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). As such, ES3 abides by their guidelines and recommendations in cases of potential retraction.

ES3 also abides by two other key principles, as recommended by COPE:

  • retractions are not about punishing authors;

  • retraction statements should be public and linked to the original, retracted article.

All potential retractions will be judged on their own merits and will be the subject of an internal investigation or, where satisfactory, the recommendations from the institutional investigation of the author(s). ES3 considers the following reasons as giving cause for concern and potential retraction:

  • clear evidence that findings are unreliable, either as a result of misconduct (e.g. data fabrication) or honest error (e.g. miscalculation or experimental error);

  • findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper attribution, permission, or justification (i.e. cases of redundant publication);

  • major plagiarism;

  • the reporting of unethical research, the publication of an article that did not have the required ethics committee approval;

  • legal issues pertaining to the content of the article, e.g. libelous content;

  • major authorship issues, i.e. proven or strongly suspected cases of ghostwriting or sold ('gift') authorship;

  • politically motivated articles where objectivity is a serious concern;

  • the singling out of individuals or organizations for attack;

  • faith issues (e.g. intelligent design);

  • papers that have made extraordinary claims without concomitant scientific or statistical evidence (e.g. pseudoscience).

Readers who would like to draw the editors' attention to published work that might require retraction should contact the authors of the article and write to the journal, making sure to include copies of all correspondence with authors.

Ethical Concerns

All research submitted to ES3 for consideration must have been conducted in accordance with the Geological Society guidelines on study ethics: ES3 reserves the right to reject any manuscript that editors believe does not uphold high ethical standards, even if authors have obtained ethical approval or if ethical approval is not required.

For any ethical concerns, please contact the Editorial Office.

Editorial Policies

Conflicts of Interest

A conflict of interest can be anything potentially interfering with, or that could be perceived as interfering with, full and objective peer review, decision-making or publication of articles submitted to ES3. Personal, financial, and professional affiliations or relationships can be perceived as conflicts of interest.

All authors and members of ES3 Editorial Boards are required to disclose any actual and potential conflicts of interest at submission or upon accepting an editorial or review assignment.

Failure to declare competing interests can result in the rejection of a manuscript. If an undisclosed competing interest comes to light after publication, ES3 will take action in accordance with internal policies and Committee on Publication Ethics guidelines.

Anything that can be perceived as a potential conflict of interest should be disclosed within the statements section, during submission. A conflict of interest statement will be automatically generated, included in the generated PDF file for peer review, and in the final publication version of the article.

What Should I Disclose?

As an author, disclosure of any potential conflicts of interest should be done during the submission process. Consider the following questions and make sure you disclose any positive answers:

  • Did you or your institution at any time receive payment or services from a third party for any aspect of the submitted work?

  • Do you have financial relationships (such as commercial affiliation/employment, funding, intellectual property, etc.) with entities that could be perceived to influence, or that give the appearance of potentially influencing, what you wrote in the submitted work?

  • Do you have any patents and/or copyrights, whether pending, issued, licensed, and/or receiving royalties related to the research?

  • Do you have other relationships or activities that readers could perceive to have influenced, or that give the appearance of potentially influencing, what you wrote in the submitted work?

If you failed to disclose potential conflicts of interest during submission, or in case of doubt, please contact the ES3 Editorial Office with the details of the potential conflicts as soon as possible.

For commercial affiliations, all authors must be accounted for. We recommend using the following template:

"Author XXXXXXX was employed by the company XXXXXXX.

The remaining authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest".

For commercial funding, the role of the funder must be declared. We recommend the following statements:

"The authors declare that this study received funding from XXXXXXX. The funder had the following involvement with the study: XXXXXXX".

"The authors declare that this study received funding from XXXXXXX. The funder was not involved in the study design, collection, analysis, interpretation of data, the writing of this article or the decision to submit it for publication".

What About Editors and Reviewers?

Handling editors and reviewers will be asked to consider the following potential conflicts of interest before accepting any editing or review assignment:


Are any of the authors a spouse or significant other, a member of the same family or a very close personal friend? Reviewers should also not be a member of the same family as the handling editor.


Are you currently hosting or have hosted an ES3 Special Issue with any of the authors within the past 2 years?

Are you currently collaborating, or have you collaborated on a research project or a publication with any of the authors within the past 2 years?

Are you currently collaborating, or have you collaborated with any of the authors as an advisor or in any other direct supervisory capacity in the past five years?

Are you currently collaborating, or have you collaborated with any of the authors as a student or in any other direct subordinate capacity in the past five years?

Note: Reviewers should not accept assignments if they have a close professional relationship with the handling editor, which in their view could affect the objectivity of the review.


Are you affiliated with the same institution as any of the authors? If so, has this resulted in interactions, collaborations or mutual interests with the authors that would compromise your impartiality in conducting this review?

Are you a current member of a committee or department that coincides with an affiliation with any of the authors?


Do you have a business or professional partnership with any author?

Do you have financial interests or business relations with any organization involved in this research or in the preparation of the manuscript?

Do you have any financial interest or competing interests in the content of the manuscript that might affect your ability to perform an objective review?

Funding Disclosure

Details of all funding sources must be provided in the funding section of the manuscript, including grant numbers, if applicable. All ES3 articles are published with open access under the CC-BY Creative Commons attribution license. Articles published with ES3 automatically fulfil or exceed the requirements for open access mandated by many institutions and funding bodies, including the National Institutes of Health, the Medical Research Council, Research Councils UK, and the Wellcome Trust. ES3 submits funding data to the Open Funder Registry, which is a funder identification service from CrossRef resulting from collaboration between scholarly publishers and funding agencies.


Any necessary disclaimers which must be included in the published article should be clearly indicated in the manuscript.

Data and Supplementary Material

As per the Geological Society of London policy on data, ES3 supports the open accessibility, findability, interoperability, reusability and preservation of geoscience data (in any form, e.g. scans, 3D models) and software in order to benefit researchers, the scientific research community and the public, and to comply with funder mandates.

The Geological Society of London endorses FORCE11's Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles and is also a co-signatory on the Statement of Commitment for the Coalition for Publishing Data in the Earth and Space Sciences (COPDESS).

For geochemical data archiving COPDESS has compiled a number of domain repositories which adhere to the following criteria for inlusion:

  • Compliance with basic FAIR and TRUST principles, ideally also the CARE principles

  • Offer DOI minting; long-term preservation policy

  • Private review link; DOI reserved / data embargo

  • Basic geochemical data curation and review

Access the COPDESS Journal Guidelines for Geochemical Data Archiving here:

ES3 encourages authors to make available all data relevant to the conclusions of the manuscript. We aim to achieve the best community standards regarding data availability, ensuring increased levels of transparency and reproducibility in our published articles.

For further information, please consult the Geological Society's webpage for data policy information:

Data Citation Guidelines

Authors are encouraged to cite all datasets generated or analyzed in the study. Where datasets are cited, they should be included in the reference list to maximize future usability. The following format should be used:

[Dataset] Author names. (year) Data Title. Repository name. Version. Persistent identifier

Data Availability Statements

Data availability statements are required for all articles published with ES3. During the submission process, authors will be asked to detail the location of the raw data underlying the conclusions made in the manuscript, and whether it will be made available to other researchers following publication. Authors will also be asked for the details of any existing datasets that have been analysed in the manuscript. These datasets should be cited in accordance with our data citation guidelines.

A statement will be automatically generated using the information provided in the submission form; however, manuscripts containing incomplete or incorrect statements will be prevented from entering the review process.

Examples of Acceptable Statements

1.    Original datasets are available in a publicly accessible repository:

The original contributions presented in the study are publicly available. This data can be found here: [link/accession number].

2.    Existing datasets are available in a publicly accessible repository:

Publicly available datasets were analyzed in this study. This data can be found here: [link/accession number].

3.    Information for existing publicly accessible datasets are contained within the article (e.g. for studies using greater than 10 accession numbers):

The datasets presented in this study can be found in online repositories. The names of the repository/repositories and accession number(s) can be found in the article/supplementary material.

4.    All relevant data is contained within the article:

The original contributions presented in the study are included in the article/supplementary material, further inquiries can be directed to the corresponding author/s.

5.    Restrictions apply to the datasets:

The datasets presented in this article are not readily available because [VALID REASON]. Requests to access the datasets should be directed to [text input].

6.    Data has been obtained from a third party:

The data analyzed in this study was obtained from [SOURCE], the following licenses/restrictions apply [RESTRICTIONS]. Requests to access these datasets should be directed to [NAME, EMAIL].

7.    Datasets are available on request:

The raw data supporting the conclusions of this article will be made available by the authors, without undue reservation.


ES3 encourages that authors make available all code used to conduct their research available to other researchers. Code necessary to enable the reproduction of an experiment should be clearly indicated in the Materials and Methods section, and where possible code should be uploaded to an online repository (such as or code ocean) providing a global persistent link/identifier.

Our policies on code availability are informed by community-driven standards, which ES3 endorses, such as the joint declaration of data citation principles produced by FORCE 11.

Exceptions Related to Code Availability

In situations where custom code is proprietary, an exception will be granted providing that all relevant software needed to replicate the results of the study are available commercially for researchers. Details of the proprietary software used should be listed in the materials and methods section.

At submission, authors should declare any intellectual property relating to the code and themselves in a conflict of interest statement.

Image Manipulation

ES3 takes concerns regarding image manipulation seriously. We request that no individual features within an image are modified (e.g. enhanced, obscured, moved, recycled, removed, or added). Image processing methods (e.g. changes to the brightness, contrast, or color balance) must be applied to every pixel in the image and the changes should not alter the information illustrated in the figure. Where cropped images of blots are shown in figures, a full scan of the entire original gel(s) must be submitted as part of the supplementary material. Where control images are re-used for illustrative purposes, this must be clearly declared in the figure legend. If any form of image processing is legitimately required for the interpretation of the data, the software and the enhancement technique must be declared in the methods section of the manuscript. Image grouping and splicing must be clearly stated in the manuscript and the figure text. Any concerns raised over undeclared image modifications will be investigated and the authors will be asked to provide the original images.


In our commitment to continuously improve our user experience and support to the research communities, we welcome your feedback, questions, and suggestions. Please contact the Editorial Office.