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Research : PaleoBios

Guidelines for authors

** These guidelines (slightly modified) can now be found on our escholarship site. Please note that all submissions must now be made through the escholarship site. **

PaleoBios accepts papers on all aspects of unpublished original paleontological research from all fields of paleontology. Authors need not be affiliated with UCMP, nor does research have to be based on UCMP collections.

Make sure your paper is in an acceptable format. We can accept papers in Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format (RTF). If you use a word-processing program other than Microsoft Word, look for an "export" or "save as" option in your program to save it as an RTF file.

Manuscripts must be in 12 point Times New Roman, double-spaced throughout, including literature cited, figure captions, and tables. Make margins one inch on all sides. Do not justify text. Sentences are to be separated by a single space. Indent paragraphs 1/4". Words to be italicized should be in italics, not underlined. Type author(s') name(s) and page number in the upper right-hand corner of each page, beginning with page 2 (Abstract page).

Figures should follow the digital image guidelines given below. Include all illustrations with submission (jpegs are acceptable at this stage but not for the final version), and provide all the information requested in the online submission form.

Manuscripts not in PaleoBios format will be subject to delay and further revision by the author.

Manuscripts must be prepared in the following sequence:

Title page |  Abstract page |  Text |  Literature Cited |  Tables |  Figures |  Figure captions |  Submission

Title page

Center title on the page. Type author name(s) in capital letters, centered below title. Type affiliation, complete unabbreviated mailing address, and e-mail address, centered below author name(s).

For multiple authors at different institutions, type superscript numbers after the last letter of each author's name, with the corresponding superscript numbers typed in front of the first letter of each author's address (e.g., JOHN DOE1, 1Department of Paleontology, Howland University; JANE BUCK2, 2Department of Geology, State University). Please indicate the corresponding author with an asterisk following the name.

Abstract page

Provide a single paragraph summarizing paper, up to one double-spaced page (350 words). Please list 5-6 keywords just below the abstract.


All margins 2.54 cm (1 inch).

Main headings are in capital letters and centered on one line. Secondary headings are boldfaced, first letter capitalized, left justified, and on line by itself. Tertiary headings, if necessary, are to be indented and italicized and/or underlined, followed by an em dash with text following on the same line. For example:

Example showing three heading types

Nomenclature in manuscripts should follow standard International Codes.

All genera and species names are to be in italics. We require the author name(s) for taxa at their first mention in the main body of the text; the year is optional.

Latin terms (sensu, in situ, contra, etc.) should be italicized except when they immediately follow italicized names. Do not italicize common Latin abbreviations (cf., et al., etc.).

Figures and tables must be cited in the text and, as far as possible, appear in numerical order throughout the text. Authors may indicate their preference for figure placement in the text.

Write out "Figure" only at the beginning of a sentence and in figure captions (see sample captions below); otherwise use "Fig." if singular (e.g., Fig. 2); "Figs." if plural (e.g., Figs. 2, 3 or Figs. 3-7).

Use the metric system. Write out numbers one to ten, unless a measurement (e.g., seven clams, 6.0 cm, 0.15 mm).

Styles for literature cited in text: single author, Gray (1998) or (Gray 1998); two authors, Gray and Black (1997) or (Gray and Black 1997); three or more authors, use "et al." (e.g., Gray et al. (1998) or (Gray et al. 1998), but list all names in the LITERATURE CITED section. Citation of papers accepted, but not yet published, e.g., Gray (in press) or (Gray in press). Papers in review are not to be listed in the LITERATURE CITED section, but referred to in text as, e.g., Gray (unpublished data) or (personal observation) or (personal communication).

Use commas to separate citations in parentheses e.g., (Gray 1994, Black and Bleu 1997, Rose 1997, White et al. 1998), and list in chronological order starting with the earliest. Citations should be ordered first by publication date, second alphabetically, e.g., (Lander 1977, Kelly and Lander 1988b, Lander 1988, 1989, Lander and Kelly 1989).

All references in text must be listed in the LITERATURE CITED section, and vice versa.

SYSTEMATIC PALEONTOLOGY section should conform to the following general style:
All supraspecific taxonomic category names should be in small caps followed by authority and year, and centered. Please use the ampersand (Jones & Howdydoody) when there are two or more authors. We require the author(s) and year for all taxonomic names listed in the Systematic Paleontology. It is optional to include the literature reference in the LITERATURE CITED section. For example


(TYPE) SPECIES: Microcosmodon giganteum Author year (add n. sp., n. comb.)
Figures #-#s
Synonomies list, if applicable.

Diagnosis—For new or emended diagnoses.
Holotype—The specimen if applicable. All specimens must be cataloged in an institution and available for study. No private collections.
Paratypes—The specimens if applicable.
Referred Specimens—Material other than type specimens.
Occurrence—This should include locality information including type localities if applicable.
Etymology—If applicable.
  Subheadings—If there are subheadings they should be italicized and placed below the Description heading.

Literature Cited

List references in alphabetical order using the following styles:


Bell, C.J. 1993. Fossil lizards from the Elsinore fault zone, Riverside
    County, California. PaleoBios 15(2):17-26.

Wolfe, J.A, H.E. Schorn, C.R. Forest, and P. Molnar. 1997. Paleobotanical
    evidence for high altitudes in Nevada during the Miocene.
    Science 276:1672-1675.

Periodicals with edited theme

Lucas, S.G., and R.M. Schoch. 1989. Taxonomy of Duchesneodus
    (Brontotheriidae) from the late Eocene of North America. In D.R.
    Prothero and R.M. Schoch (eds.). The Evolution of the Perissodactyls.
    Oxford Monographs on Geology and Geophysics 15(27):490-503.


Simpson, G.G. 1951. Horses: The Story of the Horse Family in the
    Modern World and Through Sixty Years of History. Oxford University
    Press, New York. 247 pp.

Edited books

Rose, K.D., and T.M. Bown. 1993. Species concepts and species recognition
    in Eocene primates. Pp. 299-330 in W.H. Kimbell and L.B. Martin
    (eds.). Species, Species Concepts, and Primate Evolution. Plenum
    Press, New York.


Klucking, E.P. 1962. An Oligocene flora from the western Cascades. Ph.D.
    diss. University of California, Berkeley, CA.

No space between author initials or after the colon between volume and page number(s).

Single-authored citations are listed first in chronological order, starting with the earliest date. Citations with same senior author and one coauthor are listed second, again in chronological order; those of same senior author with two coauthors are listed third, and so on.

Write out journal titles in full.


Where you wish to include a hyperlink to a web-based resource, bold the text that you want as the active link, then place the url within brackets after it.


Double-spaced; data arranged in columns in same font and size as text; each on a separate page with the title at the top of the table, numbered in Arabic numerals, in sequence according to its appearance in the text. Tab-delimited tables produced in Microsoft Word or Excel are preferred.

Do not use vertical lines to separate columns.

Figures (all non-table illustrations)

PaleoBios aims at publishing illustrations of the highest quality so authors' adherence to PaleoBios format is appreciated.

We accept color images (digital only) now that PaleoBios is published online exclusively.

Figure basics
Arrange figures in proper sequence, as far as possible, according to their appearance in the text.

All photos, drawings and graphs are considered figures and each is to be numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals (e.g., 1, 2, 3, etc.), however, the use of capital letters within a figure made up of multiple images is acceptable. For instance, if a plate is composed of several views of a single specimen, then the use of letters to identify those views makes sense. Take a logical approach to using numbers and letters in figure designations and be consistent.

Where appropriate, figures should include a scale bar.

Figure dimensions and resolution
Prepare your figures for final publication size, either one or two columns in width. PaleoBios has a two-column format: a one-column figure should be 8.7 cm or 3.417 inches wide; a two-column figure should be 17.8 cm or 7.0 inches wide. Maximum figure height is 23.4 cm or 9.21 inches. Leave no white space around the perimeter of figures — crop figures tightly so that the actual image spans the width of the page or column. Figures with black backgrounds are accepted.

All figures must be of sufficient resolution so that when printed, there is no pixelation or fuzziness — a minimum of 300 dpi for photographs and 600 dpi for line art (e.g., drawings, maps) is required. The preferred format for photographs is basic Photoshop (.psd extension), although tiffs are acceptable (.tif extension). IMPORTANT: In manuscripts submitted for review, jpegs may be used, however, they may not be used in your final submission for publication. Also, if you prepare a figure or compose a plate of figures in Adobe Illustrator, you must also submit (separately) any individual Photoshop files that were included within the Illustrator file. For all figures, put all numbers, lines, labels, letters, symbols and scale bars on separate layers (that goes for both Photoshop and Illustrator). FIGURES NOT MEETING THESE CONDITIONS WILL BE RETURNED TO THE AUTHORS TO BE REDONE.

Figure captions

Type figure captions in paragraph form on separate page, not on the actual figures. For grouped figures start with descriptor of inclusive series, then individual figure number(or letter if use of letters makes sense — see second paragraph under Figure basics above) and caption (e.g., Figs. 1, 2A-D below). Note that figure numbers and letters are in bold.

Figure 1. Map showing fossil locality.
Figure 2A-D. Skull of Stygimoloch spinifer, UCMP 1234567, scale bar=5 mm. A. Skull in right lateral view. B. Illustrative drawing of skull in right lateral view. C. Skull in left lateral view. D. Illustrative drawing of skull in left lateral view.

Be sure to provide explanations of all symbols/abbreviations used in figures.


** With PaleoBios transitioning to an Open Access format, authors must now submit manuscripts and associated files using the website. **

Submissions should be in Microsoft Word or RTF format. Figures must follow the digital image guidelines listed at the end of the figures section above. Include all illustrations with submission (jpegs okay at this point), and a cover letter with any special instructions, address changes over the next several months, phone and FAX numbers for the corresponding author, and names and addresses (including e-mail and FAX numbers) of suggested reviewers.

Manuscripts not in PaleoBios format will be subject to delay and further revision.

Follow the Submission Guidelines on our escholarship page. Once your manuscript is in PaleoBios format, select "Submit Article" from the gray "Journal Info" column. Files are no longer being accepted via e-mail. Please e-mail any questions to the PaleoBios editor.

Your page proof file must be accompanied by a completed transfer of copyright form (Word document). Your manuscript cannot be published until this form is returned to the editor because of copyright law that became effective January 1, 2007.

PaleoBios is a peer-reviewed journal. Manuscripts are evaluated by qualified reviewers. There are no manuscript submission fees or page charges for publishing in PaleoBios. Reprints are no longer beiing printed; authors may download copies of their published pdf online and print them out as needed.

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