BSSA, SRL and The Seismic Record

Whether you’re a new or established author, you may have questions about submitting a paper to the SSA journals: The Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA), Seismological Research Letters (SRL) and SSA’s newest journal, The Seismic Record (TSR).

Both BSSA and SRL are prestigious peer-reviewed journals featuring international content, readership and editorial staff. Both journals are indexed by Web of Sciences and have an impact factor.  Our website offers detailed submission guidelines for both BSSA and SRL to guide authors, but here’s a summary that will help you determine the right journal for your paper.

TSR, which published its first paper in 2021, is distinct from BSSA and SRL, publishing short-form papers on the full breadth of seismology.

Here’s a quick guide to each journal:

Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA)
Established in 1911
2021 Impact Factor: 3.140

The Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA) is the premier journal of advanced research in earthquake seismology and related disciplines. BSSA publishes original papers advancing our understanding of seismology and seismic hazard analyses, as well as review articles summarizing important research topics. BSSA’s format allows papers to fully explore research topics in detail.

With input from the community, BSSA publishes special issues on major recent and historical earthquakes, as well as other critical topics.

The topics published in BSSA include, but are not limited to:

  • Seismic source studies: applications to problems concerning earthquakes, volcanic, geothermal and non-earthquake sources (landslides, impacts and explosions), theory, and new methods;
  • Seismic imaging of Earth structure at all scales (Crust, Mantle, Core): applications, theory, and new methods;
  • Understanding fault history, seismotectonics, fault mechanics, and earthquake recurrence applying geodesy, paleoseismology and computer or analog modeling of earthquake processes;
  • General theoretical seismology;
  • Seismic wave propagation including development of models and methods for computation and simulation of ground motions;
  • Influence of near-surface structure and wave propagation effects on ground motions;
  • Forensic seismology including explosion monitoring;
  • Development of new geological or geophysical methods to understand seismicity, seismic hazards or Earth processes influencing the field of seismology;
  • Development of new instrumentation to study seismicity and earthquake effects; and
  • Investigations of important recent earthquakes, re-examination of significant past earthquakes, and studies of earthquake effects such as tsunamis, landslides or damages.

Further information may be found on the BSSA submissions page.

Seismological Research Letters (SRL)
Established in 1987 (1929-1986, known as Earthquake Notes)
2021 Impact Factor: 4.288

Seismological Research Letters (SRL) is a peer-reviewed journal that seeks to publish informative articles for a broad scientific audience, highlighting recent seismic events and contemporary topics (e.g., induced seismicity, large-N deployments, nuclear tests). SRL also features topics relevant to the seismology of central and eastern North America and intraplate tectonics. Periodic “Focus Sections” present a collection of papers on topics of special and timely interest to the community.

Papers published by BSSA and SRL may cover similar topics, such as ground motion, sources or Earth structure. They differ in their treatment of the topics and in their target audiences. SRL papers are intended to reach a broad geoscience audience and to bridge the gap between subspecialties to support the sharing of earthquake science. SRL publishes timely articles that are generally more observational than theoretical in nature , and seeks to publish articles that represent a service to the SSA community.

Papers published in SRL include, but are not limited to:

  • informational articles about recent earthquakes or new analyses of broad interest to the seismic community;
  • documentation of interesting or important observations about damages or effects from significant earthquakes;
  • descriptions of, or new information about, historical earthquakes;
  • descriptions or assessments of new instrumentation, methods, and available software tools;
  • descriptions of field deployments that will yield data that will be available to the community.

SRL also differs from BSSA in offering a variety of columns, including: Opinion, Electronic Seismologist, Historical Seismologist, EduQuakes, Data Mine, Emerging Topics (solicitation by Editor-in-Chief), Communicating Science and In Memoriam. Brief descriptions of the content for each can be found on the SRL submissions page.

The Seismic Record (TSR)
Established in 2021

The Seismic Record is an open-access, online only journal, publishing high-quality short form papers in seismology and earthquake science. The journal strives to advance seismology through prompt publication of high-impact articles of significance in the field. TSR provides an outlet to cover recent events and current topics of strong significance, warranting rapid peer review and publication. TSR ensures rigorous peer-review with a time from submission to publication of approximately two months.

The Seismic Record covers the entire spectrum of seismological science, publishing papers on a myriad of basic, applied and theoretical science problems related to earthquake hazards, earthquake engineering and public policy issues requiring rapid dissemination. The journal publishes research focused on all scales of seismological advances from planetary/global to local/geotechnical scales, solving problems related to structure and dynamics of the Earth, earthquake source physics, theoretical and cross-disciplinary topics.

The journal considers papers meeting these requirements:

  • No more than 3500 words, excluding references
  • No more than five figures and/or tables
  • No more than 30 references

All articles must include a data availability statement with links to publicly archived datasets generated during or analyzed as part of the research. Supplemental material may be accepted at the discretion of the Editor.  Authors will retain copyright, and articles will publish under a CC-BY license.

Authors are encouraged to submit their follow-on, more comprehensive, substantive and technical full-length articles to BSSA or SRL.