How to format your references using the Paleobiology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Paleobiology. 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
Banin, A. 2005: Planetary science. The enigma of the martian soil. Science (New York, N.Y.) 309:888–890.
A journal article with 2 authors
Stewart, J. R., and C. B. Stringer. 2012: Human evolution out of Africa: the role of refugia and climate change. Science (New York, N.Y.) 335:1317–1321.
A journal article with 3 authors
Woodward, J. J., A. T. Iavarone, and D. A. Portnoy. 2010: c-di-AMP secreted by intracellular Listeria monocytogenes activates a host type I interferon response. Science (New York, N.Y.) 328:1703–1705.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Zanin, M., J. M. Alcazar, J. V. Carbajosa, M. G. Paez, D. Papo, P. Sousa, E. Menasalvas, and S. Boccaletti. 2014: Parenclitic networks: uncovering new functions in biological data. Scientific reports 4:5112.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Stenning, A., A. Smith, A. Rochovská, and D. Świa̧tek. 2010: Domesticating Neo-Liberalism. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK, p.
An edited book
Coleman, P. T. 2015: Morton Deutsch: A Pioneer in Developing Peace Psychology. in M. Deutsch, ed. SpringerBriefs on Pioneers in Science and Practice. Vol. 30. Springer International Publishing, Cham, p.
A chapter in an edited book
Frunze, N. 2014: Essential Mass and Structure of Soil Microorganisms in the Black Earth. Pp.29–35 in D. Dent, ed. Soil as World Heritage. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht.

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 Paleobiology.

Blog post
Andrews, R. 2017: Escaped Guatemalan Scorpion Leaps Out Of Bag On British Train. 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. 1985: Digests of Unpublished Decisions of the Comptroller General, Vol. II, No. 1. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, p.

Theses and dissertations

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

Doctoral dissertation
Manners, A. T. 2008: Influence of transformational, autocratic, democratic, and laissez -faire leadership principles on the effectiveness of religious leaders.Doctoral dissertation, University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZpp.

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. 2010: On Coaching Go-Round, It’s Hop On, And Hold On. 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 (Banin 2005).
This sentence cites two references (Banin 2005; Stewart and Stringer 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Stewart and Stringer 2012)
  • Three or more authors: (Zanin et al. 2014)

About the journal

Full journal titlePaleobiology
ISSN (print)0094-8373
ISSN (online)1938-5331
ScopeGeneral Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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