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Instructions for contributors
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, bio-geography, phylogeny, paleoecology, molecular paleontology, taphonomy, natural selection and patterns of variation, abundance, and distribution in space and time, among others. Taxonomic papers are welcome if they have significant and broad applications. 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.


Questions and concerns should be directed to the Managing Editor, Sara Marcus, 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 the following: title page, abstract, manuscript text, and literature cited. If there are figures and tables, these must be provided as separate, individual files. Figure captions should be in the main manuscript after the literature cited. Table captions should be provided within the table file, Short appendices may also be published, and these should be submitted as separate files with the caption included in the file. Supplemental material (figures, tables, larger data files, computer code, etc.) may also be uploaded

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

Research articles present original, analytical results in any area of paleobiology. These should be timely, relevant, and of broad interest. Paleobiology does not allow new taxa to be described in any type of articles published in the journal. Research articles typically do not exceed about 20 printed pages.

Solicited contributions

Invited Essays

Occasionally the editors will solicit a comment or review paper on a topic of general and timely interest within the field of paleobiology. If you have an idea for a manuscript in this category, contact the editors at

Paleobiology Letters - Rapid Communications

Rapid Communications are short research contributions (typically about 5 printed pages) that represent non-incremental research advancements of broad interdisciplinary interest. They should also meet the highest standards in terms of scientific methodology, data quality, up-to-date referencing, and technical writing. These likewise can cover any aspect of paleobiology and should have a broad message for the readership. Potential authors should contact the editors prior to submission to determine suitability of their manuscript for this article type.

Materials for Submission

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


Must be informative and under 50 words.


Please limit abstracts to 300 words. All abstracts should be informative, stand-alone summaries that provide pertinent details of the research and conclusions. Please do not use references in your abstract. You also will need to provide a non-technical abstract for your paper.

Co-author(s) information

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

Suggested Reviewers

Please provide up to five reviewers for your manuscript.

Cover Letter

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

Manuscript Text

Please submit manuscript text as a stand-alone MS Word .doc or .docx file. Manuscripts cannot not contain appendices, tables, figures, images, or supplemental data files. These are uploaded as separate file(s).

Manuscripts should be double spaced using 12-point font, preferably Times New Roman. In addition, please number all pages, and all lines. Submissions are expected to be between 20 and 50 manuscript pages (including text, references, figures, and tables).


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).


Please include figures with a resolution of 600 dpi or higher. Line drawings should be submitted at 1200 dpi.

TIFF files are recommended for all submitted figures; however, Paleobiology can also accept .eps and .jpeg files. Please visit our figure guide.

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.


Paleobiology follows The Chicago Manual of Style, available here. EndNote has created an output style forPaleobiology 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 can 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 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.

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 Allen Press, 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, 12 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 12 month embargo period, but not before the 12 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.

Author Language Services

Cambridge University Press recommends that authors have their manuscripts checked by a native English-language speaker before submission; this will ensure that submissions are judged during peer review exclusively on academic merit. We list a number of third-party services specializing in language editing and/or translation, and suggest that authors contact as appropriate. Use of any of these services is voluntary, and at the author's own expense.

Benefits of Publishing in Paleobiology

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

Articles will be posted online (pre-print posting) approximately four weeks after final acceptance.

Each author will receive a PDF of their file for personal use and unlimited e-mail or personal distribution.