Discover more about The Seismic Record (TSR)

At its April 2020 meeting, the SSA Board of Directors approved the launch of a new open access journal that features short rapid-publication peer-reviewed articles on the full breadth of seismology.

A new, short form, editorially distinct journal

What is the intent of The Seismic Record?

The Seismic Record (TSR) publishes short peer-reviewed articles on the breadth of seismology and earthquake science. The articles, each no more than six published pages in total, cover recent events and current topics of strong significance, warranting rapid peer review and publication. TSR is SSA’s first fully open-access journal. This journal is online-only, and the goal is to publish all accepted articles within 60 days of submission.

Read more about the scope of TSR.

What kind of papers does TSR publish?

TSR covers the entire spectrum of seismological science, publishing papers on basic, applied and theoretical science problems. The journal publishes research focused on all scales of seismological advances, solving problems related to structure and dynamics of the Earth, earthquake source physics, theoretical and cross-disciplinary topics.
Read more about the scope of TSR.

What makes TSR unique in the field of seismology?

TSR’s mission is to respond rapidly to recent events and current topics. Seismology’s importance to society makes it essential to have a journal that allows scientists to respond quickly to events, keeping their finger on the pulse of the field. More in-depth, fuller follow-up research papers would be published in SRL or BSSA.

Why did SSA launch a third journal?

The SSA community expressed a need for a high-quality, rapid publication research journal featuring short-form articles (six published pages max.) Lengthier articles which dive into more depth will be steered to SRL and BSSA, thus ensuring that SSA offers seismologists high-quality options to publish a wide variety of research in multiple article types.

How does TSR manage ‘rapid peer review’ and still maintain high-quality?

SSA has an established reputation for scientific excellence and works closely with authors and reviewers to publish only high-quality research. TSR honors this approach.  To ensure the quality of research cannot be compromised by rapid peer review, TSR only considers original articles that are within scope and generally meet the following parameters publishing articles of about six typeset pages:

  • 3500 words, excluding references, figure and table captions (inclusive of Abstract, Declaration of Competing Interests, Data Availability Statement)
  • 5 figures and/or tables
  • 30 references

Who’s on the TSR editorial team?

Keith Koper serves as the editor-in-chief.  He is the director of the University of Utah Seismograph Stations (UUSS) and has strong editorial experience, having served as an associate editor of BSSA for many years, as well as a guest editor of a focus section in SRL. Read more about Keith Koper.

Vera Schulte-Pelkum serves as the deputy editor-in-chief, working on all aspects of the journal editorial process as a member of the leadership team.  She is an associate research professor in the department of geological sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder and a research scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences.

Jeroen Ritsema serves as the editor-at-large, responsible for recruiting relevant, high-impact research for submission to the journal and representing the journal globally within the seismology and earthquake science community. Ritsema, a professor of geophysics and seismology at the University of Michigan, conducts research that involves the imaging of Earth’s mantle through global scale seismic tomography and the modeling of broadband seismograms.

How much does it cost to publish in TSR?

Open access is a publishing model for scholarly communication that makes research information available to readers at no cost, as opposed to the traditional subscription model in which readers have access to scholarly information by paying a subscription (usually via libraries). Read more about open access publishing.

An APC or ‘Article Publishing Charge’ is paid for by the authors (usually via their institutions or funding sources). The APC covers essential SSA publishing costs such as (but not limited to):

  • Editorial submission and peer review system costs
  • Research content platform and hosting costs
  • Archiving and indexation costs
  • Marketing and operational costs

TSR introductory special rate is $1750 for submissions received in 2022. SSA members who are Corresponding Authors will receive an additional 10% discount.

TSR offers waivers and discounts to Corresponding Authors who live in low-income and middle-income countries, as defined by Research4Life.

  • Corresponding authors residing in Group A receive a complete waiver (100%).
  • Corresponding authors residing in Group B receive an additional 15% percent discount to the introductory special rate in 2021. (This discount cannot be combined with the SSA member discount.)

The editorial team for TSR does not grant the automatic APC discounts available to authors. Author will be asked at submission to identify if they are an SSA member or from a Research4Life qualifying country during the submission process. All related questions should be directed to

Who owns the copyright for TSR articles?

Authors who publish their research in TSR retain all copyrights to their work. Authors will be required to grant SSA a license to publish the article and be identified as the original publisher. TSR publishes articles under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) License which permits use, redistribution, and reproduction in any format provided the original work is properly cited.

Articles published in TSR are freely available to read, download and share via the GeoScienceWorld platform.

Does TSR have an Impact Factor?

All journal scholarly research journals begin life without an Impact Factor. The journal must first establish itself and meet a required set of criteria, including number of articles published before it can apply for an Impact Factor. Read more about Clarivate Journal Citation Reports.

What is the Seismological Society of America?

Located in California, the Seismological Society of America (SSA) is an international non-profit Society, founded in the immediate aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. Forty percent of its 3000 members live and work outside of the U.S. The Society seeks to advance the field of seismology, develop the discipline and support international collaboration among seismologists through its publishing efforts, technical conferences and programs that provide training and support to the next generation of seismologists.

As a non-profit, the Society raises revenue through its publishing work, dues and donations, reinvests more than 83% of its revenue on its programmatic work: publishing seismological research, hosting technical conferences, supporting the development of seismologists and advocating for seismology. Its support of the community includes grants to student and early career seismologists, training and workshops, mentoring programs and underwriting registration fees to allow for broad participation in its annual scientific conference.