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
Cohen, J. 2014. Strategies against HIV/AIDS. Australia shows its neighbors how to stem an epidemic. Introduction. Science (New York, N.Y.) 345:152–155.
A journal article with 2 authors
Nogueiras, R., and M. Tschöp. 2005. Biomedicine. Separation of conjoined hormones yields appetite rivals. Science (New York, N.Y.) 310:985–986.
A journal article with 3 authors
Hannon, J. B., J. Tersoff, and R. M. Tromp. 2002. Surface stress and thermodynamic nanoscale size selection. Science (New York, N.Y.) 295:299–301.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Karol, K. G., R. M. McCourt, M. T. Cimino, and C. F. Delwiche. 2001. The closest living relatives of land plants. Science (New York, N.Y.) 294:2351–2353.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Albalate, A., and W. Minker. 2013. Semi-Supervised and Unsupervised Machine Learning. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, pp.
An edited book
2007. Private Military and Security Companies: Chances, Problems, Pitfalls and Prospects (T. Jäger and G. Kümmel (eds.)). VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden, VIII, 494 p pp.
A chapter in an edited book
Milone, E. F., and W. J. F. Wilson. 2014. Comets and Meteors; pp. 597–646 in W. J. F. Wilson (ed.), Solar System Astrophysics: Planetary Atmospheres and the Outer Solar System., . Astronomy and Astrophysics Library 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
Davis, J. 2015. Researchers Eavesdrop On Arctic Whales To Learn Their Movements. 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. 2008. Information Technology: Agencies Need to Establish Comprehensive Policies to Address Changes to Projects’ Cost, Schedule, and Performance Goals. 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
Norton, S. 2010. The effects of leadership-efficacy and personality on reactions to stress. 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
Barron, J. 2017. Teaching Web-Savvy Students to Develop Fake-News Filters. 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 (Barnes, 2010).
This sentence cites two references (Collins, 2009; Rouault, 2009).

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

  • Two authors: (Nogueiras and Tschöp, 2005)
  • Three or more authors: (de Jonge et al., 2002)

About the journal

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

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