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GEOL 360: Fundamentals of the Lithosphere: Citing Sources

GSA Style

GSA Style

The point of a specific citation standard is to provide researchers with all the important information they would need about a source.  They should be able to quickly see who wrote a source, where and when it was published, and how to get to it if they want to read the whole thing.

GSA Style is the citation standard created by the Geological Society of America. Use this citation style when writing your annotated bibliography.

Some notes on the bibliography style:

  • List references alphabetically by author's surname.  If you have more than one source by the same author, order those alphabetically by second author.  If there's no second author, order them chronologically, with the earliest paper first.
  • List authors by full last name and initials for first and (if applicable) middle names.
  •  If an article has a DOI (digital object identifier), you should include it at the end of the citation. 
  • The first line of each citation should be aligned with the left margin. The second and subsequent lines of each citation should be indented by 0.5 inches to create a hanging indent.

Below are examples of bibliography entries in GSA style.  For references that do not match any of the examples in the guidelines document, include all information that would help a reader locate the reference.

Bibliography entry examples


Author(s), Year of publication, Title, Source, volume (if applicable), Pages.


Sears, J.W., 2012, Making Nuna and breaking Rodinia: Implications of Siberia-Laurentia connections for supercontinent cycles: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 44, no. 7, p. 378.

Articles (articles in academic journals, newspapers, magazines)

Author(s), Year of Publication, Title: Subtitle (if applicable): Publication, Volume number, Page numbers, doi (if applicable).


Coogan, L.A., and Hinton, R.W., 2006, Do the trace element compositions of detrital zircons require Hadean continental crust?: Geology, v. 34, p. 633–636, doi:10.1130/G22737.1.

Books (books, pamphlets, and multi-volume publications such as encyclopedias)

Author(s), Year of Publication, Title: Place of publication, Publisher, Number of pages.


Allmendinger, R.W., Cardozo, N., and Fisher, D., 2011, Structural Geology Algorithms: Vectors and Tensors in Structural Geology: New York, Cambridge University Press, 304 p.

Chapters in a Book or Papers in an Edited Volume

Author(s), Year of Publication, Title of chapter, in Author(s)/editor(s) of full volume, Title, Place of publication (if available), Publisher (if available), Volume (if available), Pages.


Sawyer, D.S., Buffler, R.T., and Pilger, R.H., 1991, The crust under the Gulf of Mexico basin, in Salvador, A., ed., The Gulf of Mexico Basin: Boulder, Colorado, Geological Society of America, Geology of North America, v. J, p. 53–72.

Government Publications

Author(s), Year of publication, Title: Publisher, Volume (if applicable), Pages.


Hay, R.L., 1963, Stratigraphy and zeolitic diagenesis of the John Day Formation of Oregon: University of California Publications in Geological Sciences, v. 42, p. 199–262.


Author(s)/Compiler(s), Year of Publication, Title of Map: Publisher, Map Scale, Number of Sheets, Number of Pages of text (if applicable), URL (if applicable).


Ernst, W.G., 1993, Geology of the Pacheco Pass quadrangle, central California Coast Ranges: Geological Society of America Map and Chart Series MCH078, scale 1:24,000, 1 sheet, 12 p. text.


Author(s), Year of Publication, Title of chapter, in Author(s)/Editor(s) Title of Guidebook: Publisher, Pages, doi (if available)


Aslan, A., Karlstrom, K.E., Crossey, L.J., Kelley, S., Cole, R., Lazear, G., and Darling, A., 2010, Late Cenozoic evolution of the Colorado Rockies: Evidence for Neogene uplift and drainage integration, in Morgan, L.A., and Quane, S.L., eds., Through the Generations: Geologic and Anthropogenic Field Excursions in the Rocky Mountains from Modern to Ancient: Geological Society of America Field Guide 18, p. 21–54, doi:10.1130/2010.0018(02).

Open-File Report

Author(s), Year of Publication, Title of report: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report Number, Number of Pages, URL (if available)


Choquette, A.F., 2014, Pesticides and nitrate in groundwater underlying citrus croplands, Lake Wales Ridge, central Florida, 1999–2005: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2013-1271, 35 p.,

Symposiums and Conference Proceedings

Author(s), Year, Title, in Title of proceedings, Month and year of conference (include this only if year of conference differs from publication year): Place of publication: Publisher, Pages


Baar, C., 1972, Creep measured in deep potash mines vs. theoretical predictions, in Proceedings, Canadian Rock Mechanics Symposium, 7th, Edmonton: Ottawa, Canada Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, p. 23–77.


Author, Year of publication, Title of webpage: URL (Month and year that site was accessed).


Scotese, C.R., 2003, PALEOMAP Project: (accessed August 2019).

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