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
Powell, K. 2003: Short supply. Nature 423:566–567.
A journal article with 2 authors
Rodriguez, A., and A. Laio. 2014: Machine learning. Clustering by fast search and find of density peaks. Science (New York, N.Y.) 344:1492–1496.
A journal article with 3 authors
Gregg, J. W., C. G. Jones, and T. E. Dawson. 2003: Urbanization effects on tree growth in the vicinity of New York City. Nature 424:183–187.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Wu, Y., X. Zhang, H. Pan, W. Deng, X. Zhang, X. Zhang, and J. Jie. 2013: In-situ device integration of large-area patterned organic nanowire arrays for high-performance optical sensors. Scientific reports 3:3248.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
El-Reedy, M. A. 2011: Construction Management for Industrial Projects. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, p.
An edited book
2010: Skin Cancer Management: A Practical Approach. in D. MacFarlane, ed. Springer, New York, NY, p.
A chapter in an edited book
Smertenko, A., and P. Bozhkov. 2014: The Life and Death Signalling Underlying Cell Fate Determination During Somatic Embryogenesis. Pp.131–178 in P. Nick and Z. Opatrny, eds. Applied Plant Cell Biology: Cellular Tools and Approaches for Plant Biotechnology. 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 Paleobiology.

Blog post
Andrew, E. 2015: Three-Person IVF: Science Shows Ethical Questions Remain Unanswered. 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. 1971: Use of Construction Authority by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 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
Dickinson, S. 2013: Best practices in integrating acquisitions.Doctoral dissertation, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CApp.

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
Choi, M. H. K. 2013: Terror in the Streets. New York Times:MM50.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Powell 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Powell 2003; Rodriguez and Laio 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Rodriguez and Laio 2014)
  • Three or more authors: (Wu et al. 2013)

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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