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
Mortlock, D. 2014. Astronomy: The age of the quasars. Nature 514:43–44.
A journal article with 2 authors
Raymond, P. A., and J. E. Bauer. 2001. Riverine export of aged terrestrial organic matter to the North Atlantic Ocean. Nature 409:497–500.
A journal article with 3 authors
Afek, I., O. Ambar, and Y. Silberberg. 2010. High-NOON states by mixing quantum and classical light. Science (New York, N.Y.) 328:879–881.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
He, Q., P. Cheng, Y. Yang, L. Wang, K. H. Gardner, and Y. Liu. 2002. White collar-1, a DNA binding transcription factor and a light sensor. Science (New York, N.Y.) 297:840–843.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Cabaniss, D. L., S. Cherry, C. J. Douglas, R. L. Graver, and A. R. Schwartz. 2013. Psychodynamic Formulation. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK, pp.
An edited book
2005. Broadband Satellite Comunication Systems and the Challenges of Mobility: IFIP TC6 Workshops on Broadband Satellite Communication Systems and Challenges of Mobility, World Computer Congress, August 22–27, 2004, Toulouse, France (T. Gayraud, M. Mazzella, F. Boavida, E. Monteiro, and J. Orvalho (eds.)). Springer US, Boston, MA, XVIII, 248 p pp.
A chapter in an edited book
Anton, M., O. Castellani, and C. Guérin-Dubiard. 2007. Phosvitin; pp. 17–24 in R. Huopalahti, R. López-Fandiño, M. Anton, and R. Schade (eds.), Bioactive Egg Compounds. 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
Andrew, E. 2015. Did El Niño Give Hurricane Patricia More Kick? 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. 2007. Passenger Rail Security: Enhanced Federal Leadership Needed to Prioritize and Guide Security Efforts. 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
Burns, D. 2017. Measuring the Outcome of At-Risk Students on Biology Standardized Tests When Using Different Instructional Strategies. Doctoral dissertation, Lindenwood University, St. Charles, MO 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
Feeney, K. 2007. Old-Time Staples and Sloppy Joes. New York Times NJ6.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Mortlock, 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Raymond and Bauer, 2001; Mortlock, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Raymond and Bauer, 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (He 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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