Earth and Environmental Science Transactions

Transactions is a general earth sciences journal publishing peer-reviewed research papers, reviews and short communications of international standard on all scientific aspects of the Earth and its surface environments. The Editorial Board welcomes original manuscripts in the Earth and Environmental Sciences, and encourages proposals for Special Issues in these areas.

The RSE is committed to the widespread dissemination of scientific knowledge. Through the Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Society continues to encourage and support the international Earth Sciences community by:

  • publishing a journal of international standing and authorship;
  • publishing substantial papers on all scientific aspects of the earth and its surface environments;
  • publishing without page or colour charges;
  • reproducing photographs and artwork to the highest standard, where appropriate at a size larger than is customary; and
  • aiming to have papers reviewed within three months of submission, by at least two referees of international standing; and usually publishing within six months of acceptance of revised papers.

EESTRSE is published by the RSE Scotland Foundation, on behalf of the RSE.

Additional Information

  • 107 (2016)
  • 106 (2015)
  • 105 (2014)

Price per volume: £318 /$601 (Online plus print); £285/$528 (Online only)

Frequency: usually four issues per volume, one volume per year, c. 400 pp per volume

ISSN: 1755-6910 (electronic ISSN: 1755-6929)

Chairman & Editor-in-Chief:

Professor Donald DAVIDSON, University of Stirling (Soil science; soil conservation; anthropogenic impacts on soils; soil biodiversity; geoarchaeology)


  • Professor Mike BENTON, University of Bristol (Vertebrate palaeontology; mass extinctions; palaeobiology; fossil reptiles; Permian; Triassic; macroevolution)
  • Professor Michael BILLETT, University of Stirling (Soil and surface water biogeochemistry; carbon cycling)
  • Dr Robert BINGHAM, University of Edinburgh (Subglacial environments; landscape evolution)
  • Professor Paul BISHOP, University of Glasgow (Geomorphology; long-term landscape evolution & tectonics; Cenozoic geology)
  • Professor Kevin EDWARDS, University of Aberdeen (Environmental change in northern Europe & North Atlantic; palynology; palaeoecology; Quaternary science; environmental archaeology)
  • Professor Tony FALLICK, University of Glasgow/SUERC (isotope biogeosciences; economic geology; dating and geochronology; the Palaeoproterozoic and Neoproterozoic)
  • Dr Adrian FINCH, University of St Andrews (Geochemistry; mineralogy; petrology)
  • Professor John GORDON, University of St Andrews (Geodiversity; geoconservation; Quaternary research)
  • Dr Alistair McGOWAN, BioGeoD, Edinburgh (Palaeobiology; biodiversity; invertebrate palaeontology; the Fossil Record)
  • Dr Andrew ROSS, National Museums of Scotland (Invertebrate palaeontology; palaeobiology; palaeoecology; palaeoenvironment; palaeoclimate)
  • Dr Phil STONE, British Geological Survey, Edinburgh (Scottish and South Atlantic regional geology and tectonics)
  • Professor Alan WERRITTY, University of Dundee (Water resources & climatic change; flood hydrology & geomorphology; river sediments; geomorphic sensitivity; history of geography)
  • Professor Paul YOUNGER, University of Glasgow (engineering, hydrogeology, hydrochemistry, hydrology)

1. Submission
Manuscripts should be submitted electronically, with separate text, Table and Figure files – Text in WORD format; Tables in Excel; Figures as low-res PDFs, preferably at publication size. Any queries regarding submission may be sent to the RSE Journals Officer, as above –  but as from 12 May 2016, all new submissions should be uploaded to the EESTRSE ScholarOne site through the following link : Submissions to Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh must not have been published, or be under consideration, elsewhere.

2. Preparation of Papers

2.1. Language

We recommend that non-English-speaking authors have their manuscripts checked by an English language native speaker before submission, to ensure that submissions are judged exclusively on academic merit. A number of third-party services specialising in language editing and/or translation can be found here: Please note: the use of any of these services is voluntary, and at the authors’ own expense.

2.2. Title page

The first page should show: (a) a title that is concise and informative; (b) the name(s) and full address(es) of the author(s); and (c) a running head abbreviation of the title of not more than 50 characters. Papers by more than one author should be submitted with statements from all the authors, approving the paper in its entirety and its submission to EESTRSE, and naming the author responsible for correspondence.

2.3. Abstract and Key Words

The second page should contain an Abstract of around 300 words, intelligible without reference to the text or references, and a list of Key Words (words not already in the title) of no more than 150 characters, in alphabetical order.

2.4. Text

Text should start on the third page. Words to be printed in italics (e.g., names of taxa) should be underlined, unless already in italic typeface. Use capital letters for formal terms only. The metric system should be used throughout. Abbreviate compass points to N, NW, NW, SE etc. Enclose map references in square brackets; e.g., [NM 4437 0293]. In papers on systematic palaeontology, anatomical abbreviations should be included in the relevant Figure captions, rather than listed in a separate section. See a recent issue for general systematics style.

2.5. Headings

The introductory section should have no heading. The first headed section after the introduction should be numbered as 1. Primary headings are numbered consecutively 1, 2, 3, etc. Secondary headings are 1.1., 1.2., 1.3., etc. Both should appear flush left, with their text starting on a separate line below. Tertiary headings (1.1.1., 1.1.2., etc.) should start a new paragraph, with indent, and should be followed by a full stop and the text to which they refer. All headings should be in bold. Cross-references in text should be to a section (e.g., (see section 2.3)), not to a page.

2.6. Footnotes

Do not use footnotes.

2.7. References

All publications cited in the text, including those pertaining to the authorship of taxa, must be included in the Reference list, which is arranged in alphabetical order by author.

         2.7.1. Citation of Figures and References in text. References to Figures are “Figure la” in a sentence, but “(Fig. la)”, “(Figs 1, 3a, 5)” in parentheses. References to other authors’ figures, etc. take lower case initial to differentiate from references to Figures in current paper: “(Smith 1990, fig. 4; Adams 1993, pl. 2, fig. 3; Fig. 3)”

When referring to References in text: “Smith & Jones (1990)” – for author plus one other; “Smith et al. (1992)” – when more than two authors.

When listing Refs in parentheses: date order, and alphabetical within that; allow ampersands: “(Smith 1990, 1997, 2000; Adams et al. 1993; James & Drury 1993; Smith et al. 2000; Smith & Jones 2001; James et al. 2004)”

(NB: ‘pers. comm.’ citations in the text should include the name of the person and the date (year) of the communication; these should not be included in the Reference list.)

        2.7.2. References at end. Only published or in press items, or unpublished theses with the University clearly specified, are to be included in the References. Journal and series titles should be written out in full, upper and lower case italics; no comma after; volume numbers in bold; one space between author initials (i.e., Clarkson, E. N. K., not Clarkson, E.N.K.); ampersand (&), not ‘and’ for final author in multi-authored papers (i.e., Smith, Brown & Clark, not Smith, Brown and Clark).

References at the end should be ordered thus:

(i) single author – alphabetically by initials, and then by date; e.g., Smith, A. B. 1990; Smith, A. B. 1996; Smith, C. D. 1989; Smith, C. D. 1990.

(ii) author plus two or more co-authors (et al. in text) – by date; e.g., Smith, Jones & Clerk 1993; Smith, Brown & Clerk 1995a (= Smith et al. 1995a in text); Smith, Jones & Clerk 1995b (= Smith et al. 1995b in text); Smith, Clerk, Brown & Jones 1997.

(iii) author plus one other – alphabetical by 2nd author, and then by date within that; e.g., Smith & Brown 1997; Smith & Jones 1987; Smith & Jones 1996.

Set out as in examples below:

Copper, P. & Gourvennec, R. 1996. Evolution of the spire-bearing brachiopods (Ordovician–Jurassic). In Copper, P. & Jin, J. (eds) Brachiopods, 81–88. Rotterdam: A. A. Balkema.

Chappell, B. W. & White, A. J. R. 1992. 1-and S-type granites in the Lachlan Fold Belt. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: Earth Sciences 83, 1–26.

Jarvik, E. 1980. Basic structure and evolution of vertebrates Vol. 1, 74–98. London: Academic Press.


3. Preparation of Tables and Figures

3.1. Tables

Tables should be numbered, and cited, consecutively throughout the paper, and provided on separate pages at the end of the MS, not embedded in the text. Each Table should have a caption. For layout of analytical data, see tables published in previous issues. Authors should send published analyses of igneous rocks to the UK~IGBA file.

3.2. Figures

Illustrations should be numbered, and cited, consecutively throughout the paper. A list of figure captions should be provided on a separate page after the References; figures and figure captions should not be embedded in the text. A scale should be shown on the figure (e.g., a bar scale on a photomicrograph), rather than giving magnifications in the caption, in case figures are reduced or enlarged. Large figures can be subdivided for reproduction on facing pages. Fossil illustrations should be illuminated top left. Figures in PDF format are sufficient for submission purposes. Should a paper be accepted for publication, high-quality files will be requested. Detailed guidelines for their production are available on request from the RSE’s Journals Officer (

4. Proofs and Offprints

A typeset PDF proof of an accepted paper will be sent to the corresponding author for checking. 25 offprints (with covers) of a published paper are provided gratis and additional offprints may be ordered (in batches of 25) when checked proofs are returned. An electronic PDF of the final published paper (the ‘Publisher’s Version’) can be supplied on request.

Copyright/Open Access

Prior to 1995, copyright was held jointly by the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the authors of individual papers, but it is now the policy of the Royal Society of Edinburgh to ask authors to assign the copyright of papers accepted for publication solely to the Society.

The RSE now operates a ‘hybrid’ Open Access model for its journals, for accepted papers submitted on or after 1 April 2013. On acceptance, authors will be given the option of having their paper published either under a regular (‘Green’) publication agreement or under a fully Open Access (‘Gold’)agreement. Under the regular publication option, authors will be asked to sign the Journal’s standard Transfer of Copyright form. If authors choose the Open Access option, they will be asked to sign the alternative Open Access form and, upon payment of a one-off Article Processing Charge (APC) of GBP 1,780/USD 2,835 (for papers accepted from August 2015 onwards), the final published Version of Record will be made freely available to all in perpetuity, and will be published under a creative commons licence, enabling its free re-use and re-distribution. Please note that publication under a fully Open Access agreement is part of the Cambridge Open Option. For more details, please see:

Authors are also asked to ensure that any electronic versions clearly state EESTRSE as the official original place of publication.


As from 2007 (volume 98), the subscription fulfilment, distribution and marketing of this journal has been handled by Cambridge University Press.

Orders should be addressed to: Cambridge University Press, Journals Fulfilment Department, UPH, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 8BS UK

Telephone: +44 (0)1223 326070; Fax: +44 (0)1223 325150

As from 2007 (volume 98) the online version of the journal has been hosted by CJO (the Cambridge Journals Online service), now Cambridge Core.

This page on the Cambridge Core site ( also includes a link, under ‘All issues’, to the complete digitised archive of the journal under its former titles of Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: Earth Sciences (volumes 71–97 (1980–2006)) and Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (volumes 1–70 (1785–1979)).

Transactions has, over the years, published a number of special volumes (often double issues) of specific interest; either proceedings of symposia, or issues made up of specially invited papers.

Published Special Issues
These are available (from the RSE) as follows:

  • The Late Cenozoic Ice Age – Volume 81.4 (1990)
  • The Second Hutton Symposium on the Origin of Granites and Related Rocks – Volume 83.1/2 (1992)
  • Volcanism and Early Terrestrial Biotas – Volume 84.3/4 (1994, for 1993)
  • The Third Hutton Symposium on the Origin of Granites and Related Rocks – Volume 87.1/2 (1996)
  • The Fourth Hutton Symposium on the Origin of Granites and Related Rocks – Volume 91.1/2 (2000)
  • The Southern Uplands Terrane – Volume 91.3/4 (2001, for 2000)
  • Chelicerate Palaeobiology and Evolution – Volume 94.3 (2003)
  • The Rhynie chert Hot-Spring System: Geology, Biota and Mineralisation – Volume 94.4 (2004, for 2003)
  • The Fifth Hutton Symposium on the Origin of Granites and Related Rocks – Volume 95.1/2 (2004)
  • Plutons and Batholiths (Wallace Pitcher Memorial Volume) – Volume 97.4 (2007, for 2006)
  • Holocene Environmental Change – Lessons from Small Oceanic Islands – Volume 98.1 (2007)
  • Brachiopod Research into the Third Millennium (Sir Alwyn Williams Memorial Volume) – Volume 98.3/4 (2007)
  • The Sixth Hutton Symposium on the Origin of Granites and Related Rocks – Volume 100.1/2 (2010, for 2009)
  • Late Triassic Terrestrial Biotas and the Rise of Dinosaurs – Volume 101.3/4 (2011, for 2010)
  • Biochar – Special Section in Volume 103.1 (2012)
  • Facing up to Climate Change – Volume 103.2 (2012)
  • The Full Profession: A Celebration of the Life and Career of Wann Langston, Jr, Quintessential Vertebrate Palaeontologist – Volume 103.3/4 (2013, for 2012)
  • Antarctic Earth Sciences (ISAES XI Plenary Volume) – Volume 104.1 (2013)
  • The Fauna and Flora of the Insect Limestone (late Eocene), Isle of Wight, UK. Part I – Volume 104.3/4 (2014, for 2013)
  • Seabed Mapping for the 21st Century – the Marine Environmental Mapping Programme (MAREMAP) – Volume 105.4 (2015, for 2014)

Forthcoming Special Issues

  • The Fauna and Flora of the Insect Limestone (late Eocene), Isle of Wight, UK. Part II
  • Form, Function and Palaeobiology – papers from Symposium on Form and Function (IPC4), Mendoza, 2014
  • ‘Stan Wood Fossils’ – papers in honour of Stan Wood – from 61st Symposium on Vertebrate Palaeontology and Comparative Anatomy, Edinburgh, August 2013
  • Fossil Insects, Arthropods and Amber – Proceedings of 7th International Conference, Edinburgh, April-May 2016
  • The Geoscience Context for Europe’s Urban Sustainability: Lessons from Glasgow and Beyond (CUSP) – papers from Conference, May 2014
  • The Quaternary of Scotland – invited papers
    Agora Palaeobotanica – papers from Agora Paleobotanica Meeting IV, Brussels, July 2016
  • Environmental Science in China (‘Earth surface process and environmental sustainability’) – invited papers

It is the policy of the RSE not to charge any royalty for the production of a single copy of any one article made for private study or research.  Specific permission will not be required for photocopying multiple copies of copyright material, to be used for bona fide educational purposes, provided this is done by a member of the staff of the university, school or other comparable institution, for distribution without profit to student members of that institution, and provided the copies are made from the original journal.  Requests for the copying or reprinting of any article for any other purpose should be sent to the Journals & Archive Officer.