How to format your references using the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Golbeck, J. 2008. Computer science. Weaving a Web of trust. Science (New York, N.Y.) 321:1640–1641.
A journal article with 2 authors
Ingolia, N. T., and A. W. Murray. 2002. Signal transduction. History matters. Science (New York, N.Y.) 297:948–949.
A journal article with 3 authors
Vreeland, R. H., W. D. Rosenzweig, and D. W. Powers. 2000. Isolation of a 250 million-year-old halotolerant bacterium from a primary salt crystal. Nature 407:897–900.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Potočnik, A., A. Krajnc, P. Jeglič, Y. Takabayashi, A. Y. Ganin, K. Prassides, M. J. Rosseinsky, and D. Arčon. 2014. Size and symmetry of the superconducting gap in the f.c.c. Cs3C60 polymorph close to the metal-Mott insulator boundary. Scientific Reports 4:4265.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Lamperti, J. W. 1996. Probability: A Survey of the Mathematical Theory. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, pp.
An edited book
2007. Territorial Cohesion (D. Scholich (ed.)). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, IX, 173 p pp.
A chapter in an edited book
Flew, T. 2016. National Media Regulations in an Age of Convergent Media: Beyond Globalisation, Neo-liberalism and Internet Freedom Theories; pp. 75–91 in T. Flew, P. Iosifidis, and J. Steemers (eds.), Global Media and National Policies: The Return of the State. Palgrave Macmillan UK, London.

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 Vertebrate Paleontology.

Blog post
Andrew, E. 2014. Mass Whale Grave Mystery Solved. IFLScience. Available at Accessed October 30, 2018 IFLScience.


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. 2002. Mass Transit: Federal Action Could Help Transit Agencies Address Security Challenges. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, pp.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Yu, W. 2012. Impacts of storms and sea-level rise on coastal evolution between two capes: Onslow Bay, North Carolina. Doctoral dissertation, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC pp.

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
Wagner, J. 2017. Mets Fall to Braves, but Help Is Coming as Cespedes Is Set to Return. 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 (Golbeck, 2008).
This sentence cites two references (Ingolia and Murray, 2002; Golbeck, 2008).

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

  • Two authors: (Ingolia and Murray, 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Potočnik et al., 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titleJournal of Vertebrate Paleontology
AbbreviationJ. Vertebr. Paleontol.
ISSN (print)0272-4634
ISSN (online)1937-2809

Other styles