Submission Guidelines

The Seismic Record
Established in 2021
Editor-in-Chief: Keith Koper
ISSN: 2694-4006

The Seismic Record (TSR) is a rapid publication, open-access, online only journal, publishing high-quality short form papers in seismology and earthquake science. Submit manuscripts to TSR at Published by the Seismological Society of America (SSA), the journal strives to advance seismology through prompt publication of high-impact articles of significance in the field. Authors who publish their research in TSR retain all copyright 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. As a gold open access journal, TSR charges an Article Processing Charge.

TSR is owned and published by the Seismological Society of America.

TSR is indexed by the Directory of Open Access Journals and by Scopus.

Types of Articles

Research articles are short-format, original articles that are within scope and generally meet the following requirements:

Given the short-format nature of the journal, TSR will consider original articles that are within scope and generally meet the following requirements:

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

Articles published in TSR will be 4-6 typeset pages.

All articles must include an Abstract of up to 200 words, a Declaration of Conflicts of Interest, and a Data and Resources Statement with links to publicly archived datasets generated during or analyzed as part of the research. Supplemental Material may be considered at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief, but may not be used as a repository for content that would be included in a longer form article. SSA strongly advises using a data repository with link-outs from your article to any data and documents that may be useful to readers but not critical to the interpretation of the articles. See below for additional information on submission requirements.

Comments and Replies focus on discussing an article published in TSR. The Comment should address important aspects of the original paper without presenting new data or other unpublished work and should not be based on new findings/concepts that would not have been accessible to the authors when the original paper was written. Comments/Replies should be focused and shorter than the original article. At the editor’s discretion, these articles will undergo peer review to determine the appropriateness of the discussion. The Editor oversees the process to ensure clear presentation of ideas and resolution of any conflict. Article Processing Charges will be waived for both the Comment and the Reply.

Peer Review Policy

All submissions are initially evaluated by the Editor-in-Chief. Manuscripts that are not within the scope or do not meet the above criteria will be returned to the author without peer review. An Associate Editor will be appointed and will identify a minimum of two external reviewers for every article. TSR uses a single-blind peer review process (i.e., authors do not know the reviewers’ identities), and the Editor-in-Chief makes all final decisions on submitted manuscripts.

Rapid Publication with High Quality Review

The editorial team’s goal is to have a first decision within four weeks of submission. If your paper receives a “Revision” decision, you will be asked to return the manuscript addressing all of the reviewers’ comments within two weeks. In order to meet the journal’s rapid publication goals, the Editors will limit the number of revisions cycles; manuscripts with high interest from the Editors, but that require major revisions may receive a “Resubmit” decision. Accepted papers will publish within two weeks of acceptance, pending author’s timely review of proofs. Significant edits at proof stage are discouraged and may warrant re-review by the Editors resulting in delayed publication. TSR publishes four issues per year, and articles are continuously added to the current issue as they are published

Once you have all of the necessary files prepared, log in to the submission system as an author. If you start the process, but do not complete it, the system will save your submission and you can log back in at a later time and finish the process.

When submitting an article to TSR, the author(s) warrant that the material is original and that the article is not currently under consideration by another journal. TSR will consider papers previously posted on preprint servers such as ESSOAr and other non-profit preprint servers, so long as the authors have retained copyright and the right to publish under a Creative Commons license, should the manuscript be accepted in TSR.

Publication Ethics

Authors must review SSA’s Publication Ethics policy ( prior to submission.

All manuscripts received by TSR will be screened for plagiarism using iThenticate’s CrossCheck Plagiarism Screening software. The US Office of Integrity Research defines plagiarism as “theft or misappropriation of intellectual property and the substantial unattributed textual copying of another’s work.” If plagiarism of any kind (including self-plagiarism/duplicate publication/text recycling) is detected by TSR, it will be assessed by the Editors and the paper may be rejected without peer review. Additionally, the Editors will alert co-authors about the plagiarism in the submitted manuscripts, and in extreme cases may opt to alert your institution. Use of content published online, for example in a thesis, copyrighted to the author, is not considered a violation. The corresponding author is responsible for ensuring that all contributors are listed as authors and that all authors have agreed to the manuscript’s content and its submission to TSR. Co-authors will be required to confirm their authorship in advance of publication (prompted via email).

Submission Requirements and Formatting Guidelines

Manuscripts should be submitted via TSR’s online submission system. Authors may contact the editorial office with any questions or for assistance ( The system will prompt you to upload the individual components of your manuscript (text, figures, tables, supplemental information, etc.) as separate files. Upon completion of this step, the submission system will compile the entire manuscript into a composite PDF for use during peer review. All communications about your submission (including the request for final approval and the confirmation of submission) will be sent to the individual designated as corresponding author during the submission process.

To help ensure you have all the information you need when you are ready to submit your manuscript, we have provided a Submission PDF Checklist here [233 KB].

The following items are required for submission:

  • License to Publish
    • Authors who publish their research in TSR retain all copyright 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. TSR strives to be fully compliant with funding body and institutional mandates that may require you to publish your research in a fully open access journal. Please contact us directly if you have any concerns.
  • Manuscript, organized as follows:
    • Title page, including authors’ names and affiliations as well as the complete address of the corresponding author.
    • Abstract (200 words or less)
    • Text of paper (Introduction, Body, Conclusions)
    • Data and Resources
    • Acknowledgments
    • References
    • Full mailing address for each author
    • Tables, with captions above each table
    • List of Figure Captions
    • Figures, with captions below each figure – high resolution figure files are not required for the review process but may be requested if there are legibility concerns. If the paper is accepted for publication, high resolution files will be required.
    • Electronic Supplement (optional) – Authors may submit supplemental digital material to accompany papers. Authors are encouraged to include “supplement” in their file names. See Electronic Supplement Guidelines for further instructions. If your paper has an electronic supplement, include citations for this material in the text (i.e., “for a complete list of earthquakes, see Table S4 in the electronic supplement to this article.”)

For Revised Papers, the following items are required, in addition to the items above:

  • Annotated Manuscript (for Revised Papers) – include a marked-up or otherwise highlighted version of your manuscript showing the changes that have been made in the revised version of the manuscript. Upload this file under the “Annotated Manuscript” category.
  • Response to Reviews (for Revised Papers) – respond to each comment from the reviewers and editors in a separate document. Include the comment, followed by your response in a separate color. Upload this file under the “Response to Reviews” category.

Title Page. Include all author names and affiliations as well as the complete address of the corresponding author. Each author is allowed only one main affiliation. If you need to list a “now at” or “also at” affiliation as well, please note this in your manuscript, and we will add it as a footnote to page 1 of the published paper.

Abstract. Abstracts may be up to 200 words and limited to one paragraph.

Manuscript. Submit your manuscript in Word, LaTex, or PDF format. If you are using LaTeX, please read LaTeX Suggestions for making it work with our online submission system. Note, LaTeX files are only required after acceptance and you may upload a PDF for peer review. When uploading LaTeX files, do not upload your manuscript PDF; the system builds one PDF file from all of your submitted files, and your original files are stored on the server for editorial office and publisher access.

Format all pages in a standard U.S. letter size (8.5 X 11 inches) and use one-inch margins. All material should be double spaced, using a 12-point font size. Page numbering and line numbering are both mandatory. Use continuous line numbering (do not restart numbering on each page).

Figures, tables and equations should be numbered sequentially using Arabic numbers. Figures may be placed at the end of the manuscript or embedded near the first mention in the text. (If embedding figures, please do not wrap text around the image and ensure that text is legible in the compiled PDF.) Place the table captions above each table, and the figure captions below each figure. High resolution figures are not necessary until the paper is accepted for publication, unless specifically requested by the Editorial Office. Figures and tables MUST all be cited in sequential order within the text of the paper.

Do not number section headers. Levels of headers can be identified using upper/lower case letters and bold/italic type. If you include in-text citations to headers, please cite complete header titles.

Each author is allowed only one main affiliation. If you need to list a “now at” or “also at” affiliation as well, please note this in your manuscript and we will add it as a footnote to page 1 of the published paper.

All URL’s should be placed in the Data and Resources section (see below).

Use American English spelling. Define all technical terms, symbols, acronyms, and abbreviations. Avoid the use of quotation marks and italics for emphasis. Define all abbreviations and acronyms at first mention.

In-text Citations. Citations in the text should appear by the name(s) of the author(s), followed by the year of publication in parentheses, e.g., Johnson and Smith (2017).

Data and Resources. This section is mandatory. SSA requires that authors identify the sources of data used during research and give information about whether those sources are available to readers. A Data and Resources section must precede the Acknowledgements section. This section should be used to identify all data sources that are not taken from published works identified in the References. If all data sources are from published works listed in the References, authors may simply state “All data used in this paper came from published sources listed in the references” in their Data and Resources section.

An example of data from a published work would be an earthquake catalog listed in a table or electronic supplement of a published paper. If an online database is used, then it should be included here. If there is a published work describing the database, then that work can be included in the References. However, online databases should not be included in the References. When a data source is mentioned in the body of the paper, it should be followed by a pointer to the Data and Resources section; e.g., “earthquake mechanisms were obtained from the Global Centroid Moment Tensor Project (see Data and Resources).” The corresponding entry in the Data and Resources section would be, “The Global Centroid Moment Tensor Project database was searched using (last accessed on August 5, 2007).” This section may also be used to identify other resources such as computer codes including the Generic Mapping Tools (GMT). Such resources do not need to be mentioned in previous sections of the paper. Some examples:

  • Seismograms used in this study were collected as part of the Central Kansas Lithospheric Experiment using PASSCAL instruments. Data can be obtained from the IRIS Data Management Center at (last accessed August 2003).
  • Well logs were provided by Central Oil Company and are proprietary. They cannot be released to the public.
  • Seismograms used in this study were collected using a classified network of the U.S. Government and cannot be released to the public.
  • No data were used in this paper. Some plots were made using the Generic Mapping Tools version 4.2.1 (; Wessel and Smith, 1998).
  • All data used in this paper came from published sources listed in the references.

Declaration of Competing Interests. SSA strives to ensure transparency in all aspects of publication. As such, all submitted manuscripts must include a disclosure of financial or other competing interests related to the submitted work that (1) could affect or have the perception of affecting the author’s objectivity, or (2) could influence or have the perception of influencing the content of the article. A Declaration of Competing Interests will publish with each article. If you have no competing interests to disclose please state so and the published statement will read “The authors declare no competing interests.”

Acknowledgments.  Please be sure to give credit to sources of funding, data, and/or instruments or other facilities that were used in your research as well as reviewers and/or editors who have helped you improve your work. Place this section before the Reference section.

References. Please arrange all references alphabetically by author and follow the style of examples below. References should include only published works. Journal abbreviations can be found through a search at

  • Gutenberg, B. (1959). Physics of the Earth’s Interior, Academic Press, New York, 111-113.
  • Hough, S. E., and S. Martin (2002). Magnitude estimates of two large aftershocks of the 16 December 1811 New Madrid earthquake, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am. 92 3259-3268.
  • Laster, S.J., M. M. Backus, and R. Schell (1967). Analog mode studies of the simple refraction problem, in Seismic Refraction Prospecting Albert W. Musgrave (Editor), Society of Exploration Geophysics, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 15-66.

Seismic networks should be cited with DOI if available: citations can be generated at

Tables. Tables must be created and submitted in Word or LaTeX. Do not paste a table into Word as an image or from another program. Table parts are not allowed, and each table should only have one set of column headings. Column heads should be brief and contain units of measurement in parentheses. Tables should include a short descriptive title above the table, with the rest of the information in a general footnote below the table. Tables should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals. All tables must include definitions of abbreviations, even if they are also in the text. All scientific notation should be in the x 10 form. Tables should have rows and columns that are analogous to the horizontal (x) and vertical (y) axes of a graph, respectively. The data should include two sets of variables. One set of variables is defined in the top row of a table, in the column headings; the other set is defined along the far left-hand column of the table by the subheadings in each row. In-table headers are not allowed. When preparing tables, consider the size of the journal page. Tables can be printed in landscape if needed. For footnotes in the tables, use these symbols (asterisk, dagger, double dagger, section mark, parallel lines, number symbol) in this order. Label the footnotes within the table by rows, left to right, top to bottom.

FiguresHigh resolution figures are not necessary until final files are requested after the paper is accepted for publication. (The Editorial Office may request higher quality figures if there are legibility concerns during peer review.) High resolution figures will need to be submitted in EPS, TIFF, JPEG, or high-resolution PDF format. The PDF file created by the online submission system will use down sampled versions (low resolution) of your figures to reduce the file size, but it will contain links to the high-resolution figure files (when already submitted by the author) in case the editors or reviewers need to view them. Each high-resolution figure file uploaded in the online submission system should not exceed 10 mb per file. If your figure files are larger, please contact the Editorial Office ( for instructions on uploading your figures to an FTP site. Label each file in the “DESCRIPTION” box on the upload screen as “Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.” Number figures sequentially and in the order of first reference in the text. Do not include within the figure a title or any text that is included in the figure caption. Figure-part labels (a) (b) (c) etc. should be placed outside of and to the top left of the figure parts.

Units. Except where common practice in seismology dictates otherwise, units should follow the Système Internationale (SI). We strongly encourage authors to adopt SI units for seismic moment (N m instead of dyne cm) and stress (MPa instead of bars) in order to develop an international standard.

Mathematics and Symbols. Use the solidus whenever possible in preference to built-up fractions, write complicated exponentials in the form exp(), avoid subscripts or superscripts on subscripts and superscripts, and, in general, minimize unusual or expensive typographical requirements. Make subscripts and superscripts large and clear, and please label Greek letters and unusual or ambiguous symbols on first occurrence. Be sure that letters in formulas are unambiguously capital or lowercase. Place equation numbers in parentheses to the right of the equations. Use italic type for variables and bold for vectors and matrices. Equations should be punctuated as sentences. The typesetter uses MathML to code all equations for publication. Equations must be presented in an editable format, not as graphic images.

Article Processing Charges

SSA’s editorial and publishing expenses associated with the publication of TSR articles are offset by Article Publication Charges (APCs) allowing the journal to support itself. Information on APCs and waivers for authors in developing countries can be found here. Authors will be required to provide billing information at submission. If your article is accepted, SSA will send you an APC invoice soon thereafter. The APC will be discounted to a special rate of $1,925 for submissions received in 2024. SSA members who are corresponding authors will receive an additional 10% discount. SSA also offers full and partial APC waivers to corresponding authors in developing countries. For more information, see the TSR publication charges.

Production and Proofs

Following editorial acceptance, your manuscript will be passed to SSA’s production team to be copyedited and prepared for online publication. Figures may be resized during the production process. PDF proofs will arrive via email about 1 week (7 to 10 days) after acceptance. To meet the rapid publication goals, authors will be asked to return proof corrections within 24 hours of receipt. If you expect to be unreachable during this period or anticipate any problems meeting this timeline, please contact Paige Horvath, Production Coordinator ( Your article will publish online at

English language editing services

Authors for whom English is not their first language are encouraged to consider utilizing language editing services prior to submission of a manuscript. SSA has partnered with American Journal Experts, Inc. (AJE) to provide English language editing* and other manuscript preparation services for TSR at a discounted rate. TSR authors receive a 20% discount on AJE’s services by visiting and registering for an account. The discount will be automatically applied when using this link.

*Please note that the use of language editing services does not guarantee that your manuscript will be sent out for peer review or accepted for publication. Articles accepted for publication will still go through normal copyediting as part of the journal production process. Editing is available for both Word and LaTeX files. All editing services are at the expense of the author. SSA receives no compensation of any kind related to services completed by AJE.

Long-term preservation

SSA’s journals have long-term preservation services with CLOCKSS and Portico.

Communication with the Editorial Office

To ensure you receive messages regarding your manuscript, we recommend adding the and domains to your safe senders list.