Aims and scope

History of Geo- and Space Sciences (HGSS) is a not-for-profit international scientific journal dedicated to the publication and public discussion of high-quality research on some of the numerous aspects about the development over time, i.e. the history, of sub-disciplines within the geosciences and geophysical sciences, which in their entirety address the Earth system and its space environment. The scope of the journal includes the following: the acquisition of long-term geophysical observations; the individuals, the institutions, and the instruments for obtaining the relevant data; the role of dedicated field experiments as an extension of routine observations; the development of ideas and theoretical concepts as decisive backcloth for research processes and data acquisitions; international and interdisciplinary co-operations within the geosciences; historical developments of geopolitical aspects and their societal impacts. Book reviews are also welcome.

Geophysical subdisciplines such as aerology, geodesy, geomagnetism, glaciology, hydrology, meteorology, oceanography, seismology, and volcanology form the core for papers published in HGSS. Geological topics are also of interest, in particular in combination with physical methods. Astronomy is beyond the journal’s scope. Ideally, contributors comprise historically minded geoscientists as well as historians of science addressing the Earth system. The manuscript types considered for peer-reviewed publication are notes, articles, review articles, and biographical contributions (e.g. tributes to, obituaries for and interviews with exemplary contributors to the geophysical sciences).

History of Geo- and Space Sciences has a two-stage publication process involving the scientific discussion forum History of Geo- and Space Sciences Discussions (HGSSD), following the innovative open publication model introduced by Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. This publication model has been designed to

  • provide a lasting record of scientific discussion (open access to reviews and public comments),
  • maximize the effectiveness and transparency of scientific quality assurance, and
  • make scientific publications freely accessible.

In the first stage, manuscripts that pass a rapid-access peer review by the editorial board are posted in the discussion forum History of Geo- and Space Sciences Discussions (HGSSD). They are then subject to interactive public discussion, during which the referees' comments (anonymous or attributed), additional short comments by other members of the scientific community (attributed), and the authors' replies are also posted on the HGSSD website. In the second stage, the peer-review process is completed and, if accepted, the final revised papers are published in HGSS. To ensure publication precedence for authors, and to provide a lasting record of scientific discussion, HGSSD and HGSS are both ISSN-registered, permanently archived, and fully citable. All manuscripts are peer-reviewed by at least two referees.

History of Geo- and Space Sciences also offers an efficient way of publishing special issues, in which the individual papers are published as soon as they are available and linked electronically. The special issue addressing the centenary of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) is an example, which also reflects the disciplinary core of HGSS.