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
Service, R. F. 2000. ELECTRONIC OPTICS: Organic Lasers Promise New Lease on Light. Science (New York, N.Y.) 289:519–521.
A journal article with 2 authors
Shen, Y., and L. C. Ho. 2014. The diversity of quasars unified by accretion and orientation. Nature 513:210–213.
A journal article with 3 authors
Prins, M. W., W. J. Welters, and J. W. Weekamp. 2001. Fluid control in multichannel structures by electrocapillary pressure. Science (New York, N.Y.) 291:277–280.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Kamermans, M., I. Fahrenfort, K. Schultz, U. Janssen-Bienhold, T. Sjoerdsma, and R. Weiler. 2001. Hemichannel-mediated inhibition in the outer retina. Science (New York, N.Y.) 292:1178–1180.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
McFedries, P. 2010. Twitter Tips, Tricks, and Tweets. Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, IN, USA, pp.
An edited book
Rana, A. Q. 2013. Neuroradiology in Clinical Practice (L. A. Zumo and V. Sim (eds.)). Springer International Publishing, Cham, XIII, 104 p. 65 illus., 9 illus. in color pp.
A chapter in an edited book
Syed, M. N., J. C. Principe, and P. M. Pardalos. 2012. Correntropy in Data Classification; pp. 81–117 in A. Sorokin, R. Murphey, M. T. Thai, and P. M. Pardalos (eds.), Dynamics of Information Systems: Mathematical Foundations., . Springer Proceedings in Mathematics & Statistics Springer, New York, NY.

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. 2016. Supplements Including Fish Oil And Vitamin D Can Boost Effects Of Antidepressant Medication. 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. 1977. A Selected Bibliography on Computer Software Conversion. 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
Oldham, C. A. 2010. An investigation of genre and grammatical positioning in an online community. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA 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
Wilford, J. N. 2016. John Glenn, Hero of the Space Age and a Longtime Senator, Is Dead at 95. 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 (Service, 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Service, 2000; Shen and Ho, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Shen and Ho, 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Kamermans et al., 2001)

About the journal

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

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