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
Triendl, R. 2000. Reactor refit ignites debate on Japan’s fusion strategy. Nature 407:549.
A journal article with 2 authors
Golz, J., and D. I. A. MacLeod. 2002. Influence of scene statistics on colour constancy. Nature 415:637–640.
A journal article with 3 authors
Lappe, M., H. Awater, and B. Krekelberg. 2000. Postsaccadic visual references generate presaccadic compression of space. Nature 403:892–895.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Hayes, T., K. Haston, M. Tsui, A. Hoang, C. Haeffele, and A. Vonk. 2002. Herbicides: feminization of male frogs in the wild. Nature 419:895–896.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Smilansky, S. 2007. 10 Moral Paradoxes. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford, UK, pp.
An edited book
2010. Handbook of Behavioral Medicine: Methods and Applications, 1st ed. (A. Steptoe (ed.)). Springer, New York, NY, XXIV, 1074 p pp.
A chapter in an edited book
Chiek, Y. 2016. Compossibility and Co-possibility; pp. 91–124 in G. Brown and Y. Chiek (eds.), Leibniz on Compossibility and Possible Worlds., . The New Synthese Historical Library Springer International Publishing, Cham.

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. 2016. No Surprise As May Breaks Eighth Global Temperature Record In A Row. 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. 1992. Space Station: NASA’s Software Development Approach Increases Safety and Cost Risks. 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
Urshel, C. L. 2006. The Technical Adequacy of Standards-Derived Curriculum-Based Measures for Reading Comprehension and Math Computation in Middle School. Doctoral dissertation, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 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
Vecsey, G. 2011. It’s Form, Not Dysfunction, on Final Day. New York Times B16.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Triendl, 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Triendl, 2000; Golz and MacLeod, 2002).

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

  • Two authors: (Golz and MacLeod, 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Hayes 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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