How to format your references using the Palaeontology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Palaeontology. 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.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
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
PASACHOFF, J. M. 2012. Transit of Venus: Last chance to see. Nature, 485, 303–304.
A journal article with 2 authors
HUYBERS, P. and CURRY, W. 2006. Links between annual, Milankovitch and continuum temperature variability. Nature, 441, 329–332.
A journal article with 3 authors
HUANG, J., LESSER, C. F. and LORY, S. 2008. The essential role of the CopN protein in Chlamydia pneumoniae intracellular growth. Nature, 456, 112–115.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
KOPP, R. E., SIMONS, F. J., MITROVICA, J. X., MALOOF, A. C. and OPPENHEIMER, M. 2009. Probabilistic assessment of sea level during the last interglacial stage. Nature, 462, 863–867.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
WEGENER, E. 2003. Montagegerechte Anlagenplanung. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, FRG.
An edited book
BOLOTIN, Y. 2009. Chaos: Concepts, Control and Constructive Use. In TUR, A. and YANOVSKY, V. (eds.) Understanding Complex Systems. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
A chapter in an edited book
TARI, Z., PHAN, A. K. A., JAYASINGHE, M. and ABHAYA, V. G. 2011. Network Traffic Optimisation. In PHAN, A. K. A., JAYASINGHE, M. and ABHAYA, V. G. (eds.) On the Performance of Web Services, Springer US, Boston, MA, 105–138 pp.

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 Palaeontology.

Blog post
FANG, J. 2015. Japanese Black Bears Are Ecosystem Engineers, Bringing Light Into Forests. IFLScience. Downloaded from on 30 October 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 Projects: Status and Remaining Challenges of the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
MORETTO, L. 2012. Exploring the Nature of the Relationship Between Decision-Driven Scenarios and Decision Confidence in High-Velocity Environments.Doctoral dissertation, George Washington University, Washington, DCpp.

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
ROTHENBERG, B. 2017. Federer and Nadal Have Never Met In New York, but Have Come Close. New York Times, B11.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Pasachoff 2012).
This sentence cites two references (Huybers & Curry 2006; Pasachoff 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Huybers & Curry 2006)
  • Three or more authors: (Kopp et al. 2009)

About the journal

Full journal titlePalaeontology
ISSN (print)0031-0239
ISSN (online)1475-4983
ScopeEcology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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