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
Laming, J. M. 2014. Astrophysics: Lopsided stellar death. Nature, 506, 298–299.
A journal article with 2 authors
Wood, B. J. & Halliday, A. N. 2010. The lead isotopic age of the Earth can be explained by core formation alone. Nature, 465, 767–770.
A journal article with 3 authors
Robertson, W. H., Diken, E. G. & Johnson, M. A. 2003. Chemistry. Snapshots of water at work. Science (New York, N.Y.), 301, 320–321.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Relaix, F., Rocancourt, D., Mansouri, A. & Buckingham, M. 2005. A Pax3/Pax7-dependent population of skeletal muscle progenitor cells. Nature, 435, 948–953.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Lam, J. 2014. Enterprise Risk Management. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ pp.
An edited book
Craig, R. G. & Kamer, A. R. (eds). 2016. A Clinician’s Guide to Systemic Effects of Periodontal Diseases. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, VIII, 124 p. 11 illus., 7 illus. in color pp.
A chapter in an edited book
Shkubulyani, O. 2006. Plato’s Teaching about “Living Creature”. In: Tymieniecka, A.-T. (ed.) Logos of Phenomenology and Phenomenology of the Logos. Book Two: The Human Condition in-the-Unity-of-Everything-There-Is-Alive. Individuation, Self, Person, Self-Determination, Freedom, Necessity. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, Analecta Husserliana, 45–60.

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
Fang, J. 2015. How Reef Communities Recovered 30 Years After Nuclear Testing. 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. 2010. National Airspace System: Setting On-Time Performance Targets at Congested Airports Could Help Focus FAA’s Actions. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, GAO-10-542 pp.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Walker, D. 2017. University Research Adminstrators’ Perception of Incivility and the Relationship to Employee Engagement. 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
Michael Kelly With. 1992. THE 1992 CAMPAIGN: Candidate’s Record; Detective for Perot Describes Inquiry Into a Rival Business. New York Times, A1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Laming 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Wood & Halliday 2010; Laming 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Wood & Halliday 2010)
  • Three or more authors: (Relaix et al. 2005)

About the journal

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

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