How to format your references using the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. For a complete guide how to prepare your manuscript refer to the journal's instructions to authors.

Using reference management software

Typically you don't format your citations and bibliography by hand. The easiest way is to use a reference manager:

PaperpileThe citation style is built in and you can choose it in Settings > Citation Style or Paperpile > Citation Style in Google Docs.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
Mendeley, Zotero, Papers, and othersThe style is either built in or you can download a CSL file that is supported by most references management programs.
BibTeXBibTeX syles are usually part of a LaTeX template. Check the instructions to authors if the publisher offers a LaTeX template for this journal.

Journal articles

Those examples are references to articles in scholarly journals and how they are supposed to appear in your bibliography.

Not all journals organize their published articles in volumes and issues, so these fields are optional. Some electronic journals do not provide a page range, but instead list an article identifier. In a case like this it's safe to use the article identifier instead of the page range.

A journal article with 1 author
Sincell, M. 2000. NanoManipulator Lets Chemists Go Mano a Mano With Molecules. Science (New York, N.Y.), 290, 1530.
A journal article with 2 authors
Miltat, J. & Thiaville, A. 2002. Ferromagnetism. Vortex cores--smaller than small. Science (New York, N.Y.), 298, 555.
A journal article with 3 authors
Alvarado, D., Klein, D. E. & Lemmon, M. A. 2009. ErbB2 resembles an autoinhibited invertebrate epidermal growth factor receptor. Nature, 461, 287–291.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Namy, O., Moran, S. J., Stuart, D. I., Gilbert, R. J. C. & Brierley, I. 2006. A mechanical explanation of RNA pseudoknot function in programmed ribosomal frameshifting. Nature, 441, 244–247.

Books and book chapters

Here are examples of references for authored and edited books as well as book chapters.

An authored book
Prazeres, D. M. F. 2011. Plasmid Biopharmaceuticals. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ pp.
An edited book
Bossomaier, T. 2016. An Introduction to Transfer Entropy: Information Flow in Complex Systems. Barnett, L., Harré, M. & Lizier, J. T. (eds). Springer International Publishing, Cham, XXIX, 190 p. 24 illus., 21 illus. in color pp.
A chapter in an edited book
Van de Weghe, N., Kuijpers, B., Bogaert, P. & De Maeyer, P. 2005. A Qualitative Trajectory Calculus and the Composition of Its Relations. In: Rodríguez, M. A., Cruz, I., Levashkin, S. & Egenhofer, M. J. (eds) GeoSpatial Semantics: First International Conference, GeoS 2005, Mexico City, Mexico, November 29-30, 2005. Proceedings. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 60–76.

Web sites

Sometimes references to web sites should appear directly in the text rather than in the bibliography. Refer to the Instructions to authors for Journal of Systematic Palaeontology.

Blog post
Andrew, D. 2016. How Planet Earth’s Ice-Skating Flamingos Collectively Get ‘In The Mood’ For Sex. IFLScience. World Wide Web Address:


This example shows the general structure used for government reports, technical reports, and scientific reports. If you can't locate the report number then it might be better to cite the report as a book. For reports it is usually not individual people that are credited as authors, but a governmental department or agency like "U. S. Food and Drug Administration" or "National Cancer Institute".

Government report
Government Accountability Office. 1996. Transportation Issue Area Plan--Fiscal Years 1995-97. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, IAP-96-21 pp.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Dues, P. M. 2010. Quantitative Correlation of Enterprise Resource Planning Type, Success, and Technology Leadership Style in Local Government. Doctoral dissertation, University of Phoenix.

News paper articles

Unlike scholarly journals, news papers do not usually have a volume and issue number. Instead, the full date and page number is required for a correct reference.

New York Times article
Gorman, J. 2017. All Aboard an ‘Alien Starship’. New York Times, D2.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (Sincell 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Sincell 2000; Miltat & Thiaville 2002).

Here are examples of in-text citations with multiple authors:

  • Two authors: (Miltat & Thiaville 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Namy et al. 2006)

About the journal

Full journal titleJournal of Systematic Palaeontology
AbbreviationJ. Syst. Palaeontol.
ISSN (print)1477-2019
ISSN (online)1478-0941

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