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Instructions for authors
Editorial Policy

Paleobiology publishes original contributions of any length (but normally 10-50 manuscript pages) dealing with any aspect of biological paleontology. Emphasis is placed on biological or paleobiological processes and patterns, including macroevolution, extinction, diversification, speciation, functional morphology, paleobiogeography, phylogeny, paleoecology, molecular paleontology, taphonomy, natural selection and patterns of variation, abundance, and distribution in space and time, among others. Paleobiology does not publish taxonomic work; the description of new taxa is only allowed in an article with significant evolutionary implications. Papers concerning research on recent organisms and systems are appropriate if they are of particular interest to paleontologists. Papers should typically interest readers from more than one specialty area in the paleontological, geological, or biological sciences.

Benefits of Publishing in Paleobiology

There are no page or publishing charges for authors when the Paleontological Society retains the copyright of the article.

Paleobiology covers the cost of uploading all supplemental files to Dryad, making this free for authors.

Each author will receive a PDF of their article for personal use and unlimited e-mail or personal distribution. However, without Open Access, authors cannot upload this PDF to file-sharing sites.

Authors who are members of the Paleontological Society receive a 50% reduced rate on Open Access articles (see Gold Open Access below).

Paleobiology is a Read and Publish journal! If your institution has a Read and Publish agreement with Cambridge University Press, you may publish your article gold OA at no cost to you, or with a discount for your article processing charge (APC). You can also enjoy access to all of the journal's content via Cambridge Core. Please click on this link for a list of eligible institutions and their specific agreements:


Questions and concerns should be directed to the Managing Editor, Jessica Kastigar, at

Pre-submission Inquiry

If you are unsure if your manuscript is suitable for consideration in Paleobiology, you are welcome to submit a pre-submission inquiry, consisting of a title page and an abstract. Please submit such inquiries to

Submitting Your Manuscript

All manuscripts must include:

  • Title page.
  • Abstract.
  • Competing interest statement.
  • Manuscript Text.
  • Literature Cited.
  • If submissions include figures and tables, they must include:

  • Figure and table captions are provided after the Literature Cited.
  • Figure files submitted individually, with each caption provided at file upload.
  • Table files submitted individually, with the caption included within the file.
  • Submissions may also include:

  • Short appendices, which should be located in the main document after the Literature Cited. 
  • Supplemental material (figures, tables, larger data files, computer codes, etc.)

    Paleontological Society Conduct Self-Reporting Form:

    All papers submitted to Paleobiology require one form to be filled out and submitted for each author in the author list. The forms can be uploaded individually or all together in one file. Paleontological Society condect self-reporting form.

    All files should be submitted through ScholarOne, our electronic manuscript system.

    Article Types

    Please note Paleobiology does not publish book reviews or comments on previously published papers.

    General contributions

    Research Articles (up to 8500 words; 15 figures and tables)

    Research Articles present original, analytical results in any area of paleobiology. These should be timely, relevant, and of broad interest.  Research articles typically do not exceed about 20-25 printed pages.

    Review Articles (ca. 6500-8500 words; 10-15 figures and tables)

    Review Articles  are summaries of knowledge in any area of paleobiology. Review articles should aim to advance the field by providing in-depth, up-to-date, and accessible summaries of topics that are timely and of broad interest. If you have an idea for a review article, please send a pre-submission inquiry to the editors at

    Rapid Communications are short research contributions (typically about 7-8 printed pages) that represent major research advancements of broad interdisciplinary interest and that meet the highest standards in terms of scientific methodology, data quality, up-to-date referencing, and technical writing. Rapid Communications can cover any aspect of paleobiology and should have a broad message for the readership. Potential authors should contact the editors at prior to submission to determine suitability of their manuscript for this article type. Manuscripts submitted in this category may be recommended for a Research Article.  

    On the Record (ca. 2,500-3,500 words; up to 2 figures or tables) 

    On the Record manuscripts are a review or synthesis of an important research area in paleobiology, or a commentary or perspective on a scientific issue of broad interest to the field (typically 5-7 printed pages). Longer reviews are welcome but may be recommended as Research Articles. If you have an idea for a manuscript in this category, contact the editors at

    Materials for Submission

    You will need the following information to submit your manuscript to ScholarOne:


    Must be informative and under 50 words.


    Please limit abstract to 250 words. The abstract should be an informative, stand-alone summary that provides pertinent details of the research and conclusions. Please do not use references in your abstract. A non-technical abstract for the paper will also need to be provided.

    Competing interests

    All authors must include a competing interest declaration in their manuscript. This declaration will be subject to editorial review and may be published in the article. Competing interests are situations that could be perceived to exert an undue influence on the content or publication of an author’s work. They may include, but are not limited to, financial, professional, contractual or personal relationships or situations. If the manuscript has multiple authors, the author submitting must include competing interest declarations relevant to all contributing authors. Example wording for a declaration is as follows: “Competing interests: Author A is employed at company B. Author C owns shares in company D, is on the Board of company E and is a member of organisation F. Author G has received grants from company H.” If no competing interests exist, the declaration should state “Competing interests: The author(s) declare none”.

    Co-author(s) information

    Please provide affiliation and contact information, including email and institutional addresses.

    Suggested Reviewers

    Please provide at least three reviewers for your manuscript. 

    Cover Letter

    A confidential cover letter can be uploaded as a separate .doc or .docx file or may be copied and pasted within the submission form.

    Conduct Self-Reporting Form

    All papers submitted to Journal of Paleontology require one Paleontological Society conduct self-reporting form to be filled out and submitted for each author in the author list. These forms can be uploaded separately or all together in one file. Paleontological Society conduct self-reporting form.

    Manuscript Text

    Please submit manuscript text as a stand-alone MS Word (.doc or .docx) file. Manuscripts cannot contain tables, figures, images, or supplemental data files, which must be uploaded as separate file(s). Appendices can be included at the end of the manuscript.  

    Manuscripts should be double spaced using 12-point font, preferably Times New Roman. In addition, please number all pages, and add continuous line numbers.  


    Please submit each individual table as a MS Word table (.doc or .docx) or MS Excel table (.xls or .xlsx). When including a Word table, please ensure that it is created using Word's table function, rather than a tab-delineated table. Each table must be a separate file and should include its own caption. Tables should be ordered as they are cited in the text. Long tables, particularly those with raw data, should be formatted for the Supplementary Materials (see below).


    For new submissions, figures must be clear, sharp, and appear as they should when published. Any dpi is acceptable, as long as the figure is reviewable, and can be submitted as .tif, .eps, .pdf, and .jpg. 

    For publication, figures must be at their correct dpi (600 dpi or higher, based on the figure), submitted as either .tif or .eps, and the desired column width specified in the file name (ex: Fig1_Author_1col.tif).

    For in-depth information, please see our figure guide.

    Color Figures

    There is a production charge of $250 + VAT per figure for color printing. There is no charge for including color figures online; however, in manuscripts where color figures have been converted to gray-scale for print, the gray-scale figure must retain information that allows for independent interpretation.Submitting a color and gray-scale version of the same figure is not acceptable, and only one version of the figure will be used in Production. 

    Literature Cited

    Paleobiology follows The Chicago Manual of Style, available here. EndNote has created an output style for Paleobiology to assist in formatting references. It can be downloaded here. Please note that a one-to-one correspondence must exist between works cited in the text and listed in the Literature Cited section. Books or manuscripts in press may be included; if possible, include the anticipated year of publication. Unpublished manuscripts, manuscripts in review, or otherwise unpublished data should not be cited. Avoid citing unpublished theses or dissertations.

    The authors are responsible for the accuracy of all citations. Please ensure that literature is cited in the text in chronological order, by the last name of the author(s) and the date of publication. For works with three or more authors, the last name of the senior author is followed by "et al."


    An acknowledgment section is not required, but is welcomed. Please include all agency and institutional names. When including names, please do not include honorifics such as Dr., Mrs., etc.

    Supplementary Materials

    Additional material too long for publication in Paleobiology will eventually be submitted as Supplementary Material to be made available online. This material may include data (particularly long tables of raw data), tables, figures, appendices, or program code, and will be reviewed along with the rest of the manuscript. These files are titled and referred to in the manuscript in sequence as Supplementary Table 1, Supplementary Table 2, etc. or Supplementary Figure 1, Supplementary Figure 2, etc. 

    Authors of accepted manuscripts should upload any necessary supplemental files to Dryad ( and include the doi that Dryad assigns to their Supplemental files as part of the information that is provided to ScholarOne. This is at no cost to authors of Paleobiology

    Editors reserve the right to request any supplied materials to be relabeled as supplementary and uploaded to Dryad instead of published with the manuscript. 

    Journal Style

    Numerals, Statistics, and Mathematical Equations

    Please submit mathematical equations using an editable program such as Equation Editor or MathType. Use fractional exponents instead of root signs and the solidus (/) for fractions where possible.

    If non-metric units are required, provide the metric equivalents.

    Geological Time

    For geologic time, please follow the International Commission on Stratigraphy Time Chart. For conventions in stratigraphic terms, please follow the International Commission on Stratigraphy. Please be sure to differentiate between geologic dates and duration of time. Use the abbreviations Ga, Ma, and Ka to indicate dates (billions, millions, and thousands of years before the present, respectively). Use Gyr, Myr, and Kyr to indicate duration of time.

    "Upper" and "lower" refer to rock or time-stratigraphic units; "late" and "early" refer to time. Use lower case when the age constraints are not known, generalizations are made, or when no formal subdivision exists.

    Please capitalize the names of formal time units or time-stratigraphic units. "Early/Lower Cretaceous" (for periods/systems), but "late/upper Miocene," "early Paleozoic," "early/lower Albian" (for informal subdivision of stage/age/epoch/series).

    For reference, please use Gradstein et al. 2012. or the current ICS stratigraphic chart, as guides.

    Use a slash (/) to denote boundaries, and an en-dash (–) to denote time ranges.

    As an example:

    (K/T boundary)
    (Eocene–Oligocene mammals)

    Accepted Manuscript Guide

    If your manuscript has been accepted by Paleobiology, we ask that you reference the complete style-guide for journal style questions.

    Open Access Policies

    Gold Open Access

    Authors or their institution may purchase Gold OA for their article by paying an Article Processing Fee (APC) of $2,000 ($1,000 for Society members). This option allows authors to post and distribute the article (high-resolution e-book pdf reprint) freely once the article processing charge (APC) is paid in full and a final PDF of the article is available. In addition, articles with Gold Access will be free to anyone for download on all affiliated Paleontological Society Web Sites (currently Paleontological Society publications can be accessed by members from web pages at Cambridge Core plus BioOne, and GSW). Gold Open Access articles will be published under the terms of the CC-BY- NC 3.0 license by default or CC-BY 3.0 license upon request.

    Green Open Access

    Authors of all articles published in Paleobiology may freely post (e.g., to personal and institutional web sites) and distribute freely the final accepted manuscript file (not the pdf of the published article) under Green Open Access, 6 months after its publication. Postings must include a link to the relevant article abstract online at Green Access fulfills the requirement of most funding agencies to make published results and data available to the public after a 6 month embargo period, but not before the 6 month embargo period has ended. Under no circumstances may the publisher's final version (online PDF or article) be posted or distributed under the terms of Green Open Access. All regular copyrights will apply.

    Please see our Green Open access page for more information:

    Author Language Services

    Paleobiology requires that manuscripts adhere to American English spelling and grammar, and recommend that authors have their manuscripts checked by a native English-language speaker before submission. This ensures that submissions are assessed during peer review exclusively on academic merit. For authors seeking a language service, Cambridge University Press recommends its affiliate, American Journal Experts, which provides a discount for Paleobiology authors. Use of third party language services, including American Journal experts, is at the author's own expense. 


    Paleobiology now requires that all corresponding authors identify themselves using their ORCID iD when submitting a manuscript to the journal. ORCID provides a unique identifier for researchers and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript submission and grant applications, provides the following benefits:

    • Discoverability: ORCID increases the discoverability of your publications, by enabling smarter publisher systems and by helping readers to reliably find work that you’ve authored.
    • Convenience: As more organisations use ORCID, providing your iD or using it to register for services will automatically link activities to your ORCID record, and will enable you to share this information with other systems and platforms you use, saving you re-keying information multiple times.
    • Keeping track: Your ORCID record is a neat place to store and (if you choose) share validated information about your research activities and affiliations.

    If you don’t already have an iD, you’ll need to create one if you decide to submit a manuscript to Paleobiology. You can register for one directly from your user account on Scholar One or via If you already have an iD, please use this when submitting, either by linking it to your Scholar One account or supplying it during submission by using the “Associate your existing ORCID ID” button.

    Last updated 12th June 2019