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Geology Research at FSU

GSA Style Basics

GSA style refers to the style and citation formatting requirements for Geological Society of America (GSA) publications.  Due to the prominence of GSA publications, this style is often used in Geology academic courses.  While no official manual exists, author guidelines are available on the GSA website.  The GSA Manuscript Template and GSA Reference Guidelines and Examples are available on the right side of this page.

Some basics of the GSA style include:

  • 1" margins on all sides
  • Times New Roman, 12 point font
  • Double line spacing throughout
  • References in References Cited section should be listed alphabetically and have a hanging indent
  • All references must be cited in an in-text citation in your paper

GSA Style Reference List

The References Cited section of any academic paper should provide a full citation for all the works that were cited in the paper's previous sections.  The purpose of the References Cited section is to allow the reader to be able to find, read, and verify the information you based your paper's arguments upon.  A full citation answers questions about:

  • Who authored the content
  • When the content was created
  • What the content is called or how it is identified
  • Who disseminated the content / Where the content can be found

References in GSA style are structured to provide all this information depending on the type of material being cited.  Below are some examples.  Further guidelines and examples can be found in the GSA Reference Guidelines and Examples.

Stylistically, the References Cited section is organized alphabetically by the surname of the first author.  All references should also be formated with a hanging indent (where the first line is even with the margin and following lines are indented).


Author(s), Publication Year, Title of Article: Journal Title, Volume #, Page #’s, doi:10.1---/---------.


Matmon, A., Simhai, O., Amit, R., Haviv, I., Porat, N., McDonald, E., Benedetti, K., and Finkel, R., 2009, Desert pavement–coated surfaces in extreme deserts present the longest-lived landforms on Earth: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 121, p. 688–697, doi:10.1130/B26422.1.


Author(s), Publication Year, Title of Book: City of Publication, State or Country of Publication, Publisher, # of pages in work.


Gradstein, F.M., Ogg, G., and Schmitz, M., 2012, The Geologic Time Scale: Boston, Massachusetts, Elsevier, 1176 p.

Chapter or Section in Book

Author(s), Publication Year, Title of Book Chapter or Section, in Editor Name, ed., Book Title: City of Publication, State or Country of Publication, Publisher, Page #’s.


LePage, B.A., Jacobs, B.F., and Williams, C.J., 2012, Insights from paleohistory illuminate future climate change effects on wetlands, in Middleton, B.A., ed., Global Change and the Function and Distribution of Wetlands 1: Dordrecht, Netherlands, Springer, p. 3–59.

Physical Map

Author(s), Publication Year, Map Title: Publisher and Series Name and Number, Scale, Number of sheets, Number of text pages (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.

Website or PDF file (Not from Online Journal)

Author(s), Publication Year, Title of webpage or PDF: URL (Month and Year URL was accessed).


MARGINS, 1999, The Seismogenic Zone Experiment (SEIZE): Science plan: html (accessed July 2001).

Keep Track of Your References

The following tools can can save, organize, and format citations directly from databases and create reference lists in a variety of styles.

RefWorks logo

RefWorks is a web-based citation management system provided by the FSU Libraries for use by the FSU community.

EndNote Web logo

EndNote Web is the web version of EndNote software. Records from EndNote Web can be exported to an individual's EndNote database.


Zotero is a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources.

Should I use Wikipedia as a source in my paper?

 The short answer is NO. It is easy to find information on Wikipedia, but it is important to remember that the articles on this site are not as reliable as they may seem. See the Libraries' Wikipedia guide to learn more about making educated decisions its use in your research. 

Wikipedia logo

Image source: Wikimedia Commons. "Wikipedia Banner" by Fleshgrinder.

Get References in GSA style

Are you using RefWorks, Zotero, or EndNote?  Here are instructions for adding GSA style to automatically format your citations:

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