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
Marshall, E. 2008. Clinical trials and tribulations. Lemons, oranges, and complexity. Introduction. Science (New York, N.Y.) 322:209.
A journal article with 2 authors
Rui, G., and Q. Zhan. 2014. Highly sensitive beam steering with plasmonic antenna. Scientific Reports 4:5962.
A journal article with 3 authors
O’Riordan, M., M. A. Moors, and D. A. Portnoy. 2003. Listeria intracellular growth and virulence require host-derived lipoic acid. Science (New York, N.Y.) 302:462–464.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Alonso, P. D., A. C. Milner, R. A. Ketcham, M. J. Cookson, and T. B. Rowe. 2004. The avian nature of the brain and inner ear of Archaeopteryx. Nature 430:666–669.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Studer, Q. 2007. Results That Last. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, pp.
An edited book
2014. Gender, Feminism, and Queer Theory in the Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices (M. Taylor and L. Coia (eds.)). SensePublishers, Rotterdam, XII, 174 p pp.
A chapter in an edited book
Scott, M. M., and A. J. Frew. 2013. Exploring the Role of In-Trip Applications for Sustainable Tourism: Expert Perspectives; pp. 36–46 in L. Cantoni and Z. (phil) Xiang (eds.), Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2013: Proceedings of the International Conference in Innsbruck, Austria, January 22-25, 2013. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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
Hale, T. 2016. A Load Of New Species Have Been Found In Deep Sea Hydrothermal Vents. 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. 2009. Missouri River Navigation: Data on Commodity Shipments for Four States Served by the Missouri River and Two States Served by Both the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. 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
Perlstein, J. A. 2014. Support for families affected by incarceration: A grant proposal. 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
Walsh, M. W. 2016. Richard K. Ransom, 96, Founder of Hickory Farms. New York Times A22.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Marshall, 2008).
This sentence cites two references (Marshall, 2008; Rui and Zhan, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Rui and Zhan, 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Alonso et al., 2004)

About the journal

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

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