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
Wan, Z. 2015: China’s scientific progress hinges on access to data. Nature 520:587.
A journal article with 2 authors
Brivanlou, A. H., and J. E. Darnell Jr. 2002: Signal transduction and the control of gene expression. Science (New York, N.Y.) 295:813–818.
A journal article with 3 authors
Kempner, J., C. S. Perlis, and J. F. Merz. 2005: Ethics. Forbidden knowledge. Science (New York, N.Y.) 307:854.
A journal article with 4 or more authors
Chen, X., R. Ma, H. Zhou, X. Zhou, L. Che, S. Yao, and Z. Wang. 2013: Activating the microscale edge effect in a hierarchical surface for frosting suppression and defrosting promotion. Scientific reports 3:2515.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Volpe, M. A. 2013: Rethinking Christian Identity. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford, p.
An edited book
2006: High Thermal Conductivity Materials. in S. L. Shindé and J. S. Goela, eds. Springer, New York, NY, p.
A chapter in an edited book
Liu, X., D. Nie, S. Bai, B. Hao, and T. Zhu. 2015: Personality Prediction for Microblog Users with Active Learning Method. Pp.41–54 in Q. Zu, B. Hu, N. Gu, and S. Seng, eds. Human Centered Computing: First International Conference, HCC 2014, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, November 27-29, 2014, Revised Selected Papers. 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 Paleobiology.

Blog post
Luntz, S. 2016: Smallpox Was A Newly Emerging Disease When It Swept The World. 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. 2005: Aviation Security: Screener Training and Performance Measurement Strengthened, but More Work Remains. 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
Hilker, B. 2010: Electric-field effects and interactions of dye-polymer systems.Doctoral dissertation, University of South Florida, Tampa, FLpp.

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
Wagner, J. 2016: Mets’ Starter Fails to Last 2 Innings, and He May Not Get to Go Any Longer. 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 (Wan 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Brivanlou and Darnell 2002; Wan 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Brivanlou and Darnell 2002)
  • Three or more authors: (Chen 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

Other styles