Contents quick links

Types of Articles 
Regular Article 
Commentaries and Editorials 
Book Reviews
GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS Manuscript Formatting 
Title Page 
Author Page 
Plain Language Summary 
Multi-Lingual Abstracts 
Author Biographies

Citing Figures, Tables, and Appendices 
Generic Names 
Text Usage 
Systematic Palaeontology 
Diagnosis and Description 
Specimen Repositories 
Ethical Conflicts and Collections 
New Taxonomic Names 
In-Text Citations 

Sorting Examples 
Articles in Journals 
Articles in Conference Proceedings 
Book (single author) 
Book (multiple authors) 
Book (edited series)
Article in an Edited Book 
Dissertation or Thesis 
Electronic References 
Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) 
Article in PE 
Non-Roman Alphabets 
Field Guides 
Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology

Zotero Reference Manager
EndNote Reference Manager
Publicity, Press Releases, and Embargo Dates

FILE FORMAT INSTRUCTIONS First Submissions (Pre-review) 
Final Submissions 
Appendices and Tables 
Other formats 
Maximum File Size 
File Naming Conventions  



Palaeontologia Electronica invites scholarly works dealing with all aspects of palaeontology. Systematic treatments, including descriptions of new taxa, are welcome as PE complies with the latest ICZN and ICBN requirements for electronic publication of taxonomic nomenclature. Manuscripts are published as hypertext markup language (HTML) documents on the World Wide Web and an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) version for printing. Each issue of PE (including all of its articles) is archived with the Internet Archive. Print-on-demand copies of each issue are available at cost to interested parties through PE is completely open access, and funding is provided by the Palaeontological Association, the Paleontological Society, the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, and members of the paleontological community.

Copyright of manuscripts is assigned to one of the three sponsoring societies. The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology has made all of their PE articles accessible under CC-BY protocols (, and the other two societies have made their PE articles accessible under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 protocols (

All manuscripts must be submitted electronically via our Palaeontologia Electronica Manuscript Submission and Tracking System (PEMSATS) at:

Workflow. Papers are submitted to PEMSATS, our online interface. Evaluated by an Executive Editor, who assigns it to a Handling Editor. The Handling Editor sends it out for review, evaluates the reviews when they come in, and either sends it out for re-review or makes a recommendation to the Executive Editor (accept, reject, accept with minor revisions).

PE requests that authors and reviewers adhere to a double-blind peer review policy. We ask that authors remove identifying information from initial submissions, including author names and addresses and acknowledgements (these should be included in final submissions). Also, we suggest that authors remove identifying information from file metadata. However, PE will not remove identifying information left by authors or reviewers.

Regarding the double-blind review. We prefer the double-blind process and ask that authors and reviewers adhere to it – e.g., we ask that authors not include identifying information in their manuscript. However, we don’t comb through the manuscripts to ensure that this is the case – there are too many ways for info to slip through, so the responsibility is on the author.

Types of Articles

We prioritize papers with innovative methods, high-quality illustrations, broadly interesting topics, and unusual structure or media. For more information, check out our journal priorities.

Regular Article

Authors interested in publishing a research or technical article in PE should prepare manuscripts by following our Contributor Instructions (see below). These scientific papers should be submitted via our online submission system PEMSATS.

Commentaries and Editorials

Authors interested in writing a commentary for PE should contact the Editorials Editor directly. Commentaries are usually submitted through PEMSATS and are handled in the same way as regular articles. They are peer-reviewed at the discretion of the Editorials Editor. Commentaries follow the same format as regular articles, however, they do not require an abstract. Editorials are contributions from regular or guest editors. Note if your commentary or editorial does not contain any figures, you will nevertheless be required to submit a representative image to the Managing Editor for the article link on the PE website.

Book Reviews

Authors interested in reviewing books (or movies, instructional material, etc.) for PE should contact the reviews editor directly.


Manuscripts must be submitted in well-written English. Either American or British English is acceptable, although manuscripts should be consistent throughout. New manuscripts should be submitted in PDF format, with text, figures, and tables included in a single file (large data files, movies, etc. can be submitted as separate files). For final versions of accepted manuscripts, the text should be submitted in Microsoft Word or RTF format and should include the author page, acknowledgments, and captions. Figures and tables should be submitted as separate files.

Papers with more than 25 images may be asked to combine or remove images prior to acceptance. While there is no formal page limit, monograph-length articles will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Manuscript Formatting

1. Double space the entire manuscript, including abstract, text, references, as well as captions of figures, tables, and appendices. Number all pages and indent the first line of each paragraph that does not start with a third or fourth order heading.

2. Do not justify the right margin.

3. Figures, Tables, and Appendices must be cited in numerical order in the text.

4. Do not use footnotes.

5. Please do NOT use word processing quick keys to make text all-uppercase (it does not make it through translations to PDF and HTML). Please take the time to type in appropriate case.

6. Do not use non-breaking spaces to control line breaks in your manuscript. Line breaks in the manuscript never match line breaks in the final PDF or HTML files and the non-breaking spaces create problems.

Title Page

1. Use a separate title page.

2. The title should be short and informative, left justified with only the first letter capitalized, except for proper nouns.

3. Provide up to 6 keywords for use in indexing. The Keyword Index shows how your keywords will be used. If you describe new taxa, please use the keywords "new species", "new genus", etc., without giving the species or genus names. Keywords should be reported on your title page and entered separately in PEMSATS, each keyword separated by semicolons. Words should not be capitalized unless proper names. For example:

Keywords: new genus; new species; arthropod; marine; paleoecology

Author Information

1. To maintain anonymity, do not include author information in the text for initial submissions.

2. For the final submission, use a separate page to list the names and contact information of all authors. Please indicate if the first author is not the corresponding author.

3. Names of authors are in capital and lowercase letters and left justified.

4. Addresses are in capitals and lowercase letters and left justified. Do not use abbreviations.

5. Include email addresses for all authors.


1. ABSTRACT is written in capital letters and left justified at the top of its page.

2. On the next line an abstract no longer than 250 words must be provided.

3. The abstract should provide pertinent details of the research and conclusions. Authors should avoid statements such as "will be discussed herein." Do not include references.

4. The abstract text cannot be edited after final submission.

Plain Language Summary

Authors must supply a plain language summary following the abstract, which describes the context of their study and its main findings in language accessible to non-specialists.

Multi-Lingual Abstracts

PE will supply translations for Spanish, German, French, and Arabic, but all authors are urged to supply the title, abstract, and keywords for their native language.

Author Biographies

Short biographies and photos for each author must be supplied with final submission. These are entered separately in PEMSATS and should not be included in the manuscript text. Author photos should be supplied at 72 ppi and at least 300 pixels wide.


Citing Figures, Tables and Appendices

1. Figures, Tables, and Appendices must be numbered in the order they are cited in the text.
All material should be numbered. All graphics, including animations and plates, should be treated as Figures. All “supplemental information” should be organized into an Appendix.

2. Figures, Tables and Appendices should be cited using complete, capitalized words (e.g., Table 1; Figure 1).

3. Parts of text figures should be indicated by letters (i.e., Figures 6A, 8D, 9E-Z, and beyond Z use double letters, AA, BB, etc.). 

4. Cited illustrations all from one figure are singular (e.g., Figure 1A-D), but those from different figures are plural (e.g., Figures 1A, 4B).

5. Figures and tables from other publications take all lowercase letters (e.g., Smith 1990, table 1; Jones 1992, figure 1).

6. Each figure, table, or appendix should have a caption. The caption for each of these items should appear in a list at the end of the manuscript text, after the Reference section. Each caption should start with FIGURE (or TABLE, or APPENDIX) in boldfaced capitals, followed by a numeral and period in boldface, with the text of the caption in normal type (e.g., "FIGURE 1. Location map of studied exposures.").

7. It is the responsibility of the author to obtain permission to use figures from another publication in any article submitted to PE and to ensure that any such use is credited to the source. If you are reproducing material from a non-Open Access license source, please state so as follows: "This image is not published under the terms of the CC-BY licence of this article. For permission to reuse, please see Author et al. (2016)." Any fees associated with use of the figure are the responsibility of the author. Written permission from the author and/or publisher of the original material, as appropriate, should be provided at the time of submission, otherwise publication may be delayed.

Note: If a figure has been modified from a previously published figure, please check with the copyright owners to see whether permission is required and include a complete citation/reference for the original article.

8. Figures will be placed in the text where they are first mentioned. Please do not cite a figure in the Introduction that you want to be placed in the Results section.

9. Please suggest the best figure to use for the thumbnail for your paper. It should be one of the figures for your paper, or it could be an image that appears as an appendix. The final size is 230 by 91 pixels - so consider a horizontal image or one that can be cropped. It should be chosen not only for scientific merit, but also to appeal to readers and interest them in reading the paper. It will be used to promote your paper via the PE Blog, Twitter, and Facebook. For instance, if you are writing about a particular dinosaur's gait, an image of that dinosaur would be appropriate.


• First Order are all capitals, bold type, centered;

• Second Order are flush left, written in bold type, capital and lowercase letters, on a line of their own;

• Third Order are bold, initial capital and lowercase, followed by a period and space, with the text continuing on the same line; and

• Fourth Order (which PE Editors recommend minimal use of) are flush left, normal type, initial capital and lowercase, followed by a colon and space, with the text continuing on the same line.

Examples of headings:


Second Order Heading

Some text here.

Third order heading. Some text here.

Fourth order heading: Some more text here.

Generic Names

Generic names should be spelled out at the beginning of a sentence, at their first use in a paragraph, and when used with "sp." Specific and subspecific names should never be abbreviated. Generic names may be abbreviated when used in the combination of Genus cf. species.

Text Usage

1. Use italics sparingly. Taxonomic names are italicized; do not italicize commonly used foreign words and any other words found in standard English dictionaries. Names of journals, books, and ships are italicized when used within the text.

2. Avoid using “this”, “that”, “those”, or “these” without an accompanying noun or phrase. “This shows” is undesirable, “These results show” is preferred.

3. Use past tense for published works in the text: Jones (1986) noted that....

4. A comma should follow "i.e." and “e.g."

5. Do not break words at the right-hand margin.

6. Any symbol that is not available in HTML 4 must be written out. For a guide to symbols, see the W3 group’s page at .

7. Do not use ampersand (&) except where it forms part of the title of a published book.

8. Use USA, EU, UK, USGS, and USSR.

9. Quoted words, phrases, and sentences run into the text are enclosed in double quotation marks. Single quotation marks enclose quotations within quotations, double quotations marks, quotations within these, and so on.

10. Formally proposed and accepted time and time-rock designations (e.g., Middle Cambrian, Late Cretaceous) are capitalized, whereas informal designations (e.g., middle Mesozoic, lower Eocene, middle Carboniferous, early Atokan, late Cenomanian) are not.

11. Abbreviations for intervals of time may be used, as follows:
Ma (mega-annum), m.y. (million years), m.y.a. (millions years ago), ka (kilo-annum), k.y. (thousand years), k.y.a (thousands years ago).

12. If nested parentheses are used within the text, the order of nesting is ([{}]). Note that the order is reversed within equations (see below).

13. Do not start sentences with symbol characters.


1. Whole numbers zero through nine are spelled out, whereas numbers 10 and above should be in Arabic numerals. All numbers should be spelled out at the beginning of a sentence, and all numbers should be given in Arabic numerals when associated with a unit of measurement (5 km). Ordinal numbers are spelled out: during the twentieth century; the twenty-fifth issue. If listed entries in a sentence are to be designated by numbers, use the following format: 1)... ; 2)... ; 3).... Numbers are not spelled out when they are used in relation to figures or tables.

2. Decimals are used rather than fractions (2.5, not 2 1/2). Decimals of absolute value less than one should include an initial zero (0.36).

3. Percent is represented by its symbol (15%, not 15 percent).

4. Range can be given as "size is 17--33 mm"; however, "from" and "between" take sentence form: "size varies from 17 to 33 mm" or "size varies between 17 and 33 mm." Please use double hyphens for en dashes.

5. All measurements must be provided in SI units, µm, mm, cm, m, km, etc. Periods generally are not used. Units commonly accepted for use with SI are also acceptable, if they are commonly used in the relevant literature (e.g., 1.3 l for a volume of fluid). See

6. Dates are expressed as in the following examples: January 1, 1995; during the 1990s (not 1990's); from 1990 to 1995 (not 1990--1995, nor 1990 to 95, nor 1990--95).


Simple equations can be embedded in the text using standard equation editors (a simple equation could be something like a+b=Z). For complex equations, authors will need to provide the equation in eps or other vector format to ensure correct translation to html and PDF files. If nested parentheses are used within an equation, the order of nesting is {[()]}.

Systematic Palaeontology

Family and lower taxonomic ranks must be cited. All taxonomic works cited in the Systematic Palaeontology section (and elsewhere in the text) must be listed in the References section, including works cited as parts of taxonomic names. Authors may decide which taxonomic ranks above the level of family to include; higher ranks should be included if there is controversy regarding usage. Group names should be given in capitals. Taxa left in open nomenclature should follow: Bengtson, P. 1988. Open nomenclature. Palaeontology, 31:223-227. The sequence of topics under the name begins with the synonymy. Synonymy completeness is at the discretion of the author, but it is desirable to include the original designation and a relatively complete source. Use multiple authors' names, not "et al.". Authors are encouraged to annotate synonymies with the symbols recommended by: Matthews, S.C. 1973. Notes on open nomenclature and synonymy lists. Palaeontology, 16:713-719.

Phylum CHORDATA Bateson, 1886
Class CONODONTA Pander, 1856
Order OZARKODINIDA Dzik, 1976
Family CAVUSGNATHIDAE Austin and Rhodes, 1981
Genus CAVUSGNATHUS Harris and Hollingsworth, 1933

Type Species. Cavusgnathus alta Harris and Hollingsworth, 1933, by original designation.

Cavusgnathus hudsoni (Metcalfe, 1981) Figure 1B-D


v. 1969 Cavusgnathus charactus Rexroad; Rhodes, Austin, and Druce, p. 79, pl. 13, figs. 6, 7, 13.
v. 1969 Taphrognathus varians Branson and Mehl; Rhodes, Austin and Druce, p. 241, pl. 13, figs. 4, 5.
v. 1973 Taphrognathus varians; Austin, figs 1.20, 1.21 [cop. Rhodes, Austin and Druce, 1969, pl. 13, figs. 4, 5].
vp. 1975 Windsorgnathus windsorensis (Globensky); Austin in Austin and Mitchell, p. 53, pl. 1, figs. 20, 23 only.
non 1980 Clydagnathus? hudsoni Metcalfe, p. 19, pl. 1, figs. 8, 9.
v* 1981 Clydagnathus? hudsoni Metcalfe, p. 19, pl. 1, fig. 5.

Diagnosis and Description

In general, telegraphic style is preferred, but sometimes conversational style is more effective, especially for those taxa lacking standardized terminology. Reference to Figures is permitted in the description and diagnosis. The following headings (in third order format) are suggested:


Specimen Repositories

Specimens that are formally described and illustrated in PE and are not destroyed as a normal part of the process of study will ideally be deposited in a recognized, permanent, non-profit scientific research institution that conforms with the recommendations of the ICZN and ICBN for care of type specimens. We will accept papers that are primarily describing private collection specimens on a case-by-case basis, provided that the material is not the type material. Papers that have thorough figure or 3D model documentation of the specimens are preferred. The authors should also make all effort to suggest private collections are donated to a museum repository. Private specimens must be acquired legally, and authors may be asked to provide evidence the specimen was legally acquired prior to the article being sent out for peer review. This evidence may include field permits, export documentation, or other paperwork.

Ethical Conflicts and Collections

While we will not automatically reject submissions containing Myanmar Amber or specimens collected from other conflict zones, all efforts should be made to ethically acquire specimens and papers that do not meet this requirement will be rejected. All papers containing conflict zone specimens should include an itemized list for each specimen discussed that includes as much information about acquisition as possible. This may include size, price, date of purchase, presumed date of collection, who it was purchased from, and on what platform. If specimens were acquired from an online site like eBay, the username of that person should be included. Vertebrate specimens from these localities will not be accepted for publication. Please review the official Ethics Statement regarding fossil specimens that may not have been ethically procured.

New Taxonomic Names

For new names to be valid, certain conditions must be met. Authors should follow the practices set out in the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature ( or International Code of Nomenclature for Algae, Fungi, and Plants (Melbourne Code) (http://www.iapt- Minimally the requirements for creating formal names includes coining a new Latin binomial, designating a holotype specimen that is deposited in a permanent, non-profit scientific research institution, illustrating the type specimen, providing a diagnosis of the new taxon that distinguishes it from others, and providing information about the type locality. Authors should consult the relevant code of nomenclature for guidance and see additional instructions below in the Systematic Paleontology section of this document. Authors may follow the International Code of Phylogenetic Nomenclature for naming clades ( Electronic publications of new names have special requirements. Zoological names will be registered by the editors in ZooBank to obtain an LSID. Authors are required to provide the following information in PEMSATS at the time of submission:

1. Taxon name

2. Taxon rank (e.g., species, genus, family)

3. Parent taxon, including author and date (e.g., “Viverravus Marsh, 1872”)

4. Figure numbers in which the taxon is illustrated

5. Information about the holotype specimen, including repository, specimen number, brief description of the specimen

6. Geographic information about the type locality

Information about all new names should be entered into the same form field. Separate the six items above with semicolons (;) and end the list with a period or full stop (.). Authors should not register new names in ZooBank themselves. Registration will be done by the PE editors.


1. Acknowledgements are only needed on final submission

2. Acknowledgements should occur in their own separate page, without any other manuscript or reference text.

3. "Acknowledgments" is the American usage; "Acknowledgements" is the British usage. Authors should use whichever is consistent with rest of the manuscript.

4. Initials are used rather than given names. Avoid the use of titles.

5. Affiliations may be given.

In-Text Citations

All works cited in the text must be listed in the References section, including works cited as part of taxonomic names. Titles in press may be included, but not manuscripts in review; theses and dissertations can be included but should be avoided if data are published elsewhere.

There is a comma between the author and the date (e.g., Smith, 1973). An ampersand (&) is not used except as required by the IAPT in the formal systematics section. The designation et al. is not italicized. Unpublished and in preparation citations are not acceptable; they should appear only as personal communications. If multiple references are used to support a statement the list should be arranged chronologically (e.g., Smith, 1973a, 1973b, 1982), with all publications by the same author grouped (e.g., Smith, 1973a, 1973b, 1982; Ramírez, 1975, 2001).

Single author: (Smith, 1973)

Two authors: (Smith and Jones, 1973)

Three or more authors: (Smith et al., 1973)

Three or more authors with same first author: (Smith et al., 1973a, 1973b)

In press reference: (Smith, in press)

Personal communication: (Smith, personal commun., 1995)

Reference to a quotation: (Smith, 1973, p. 16)

Reference to a figure or table: (Smith, 1973, figure/table 3)

Portion of text written by a subordinate author: (Smith in Jones, 1973)

Communication cited in a previously-published paper: (Smith, cited in Jones, 1973)

Initials are used only for disambiguation, and there should be no space between initials: (Smith, A.A., 1973; Smith, B.M., 1984)

Taxonomic authorities given in the text (i.e., outside a Systematic Palaeontology section) are also abbreviated using “et al.” if there are more than two authors: Confuziusornis jianchangensis Li et al., 2010


All works cited in the text must be listed in the References section, including works cited as part of taxonomic names.

PLEASE NOTE: If you use a reference manager, submit the final manuscript only after converting the references and in-text citations to ordinary text. Check capitalization as reference managers often do not apply capitalization. Please do NOT use EndNote if provided by sites other than PE. For approved EndNote style, download this.

There is a zotero style for PE that should also work in Mendeley available via the zoteros style repository or here. Zotero note: For production reasons, the style will not produce an n-dash between page numbers, but three regular dashes (---). Please keep these in place; do not alter them!

The list of cited references is headed REFERENCES, using first order heading style. The general rule for references is:

Author(period) year(period) title(period) full publication title without internal punctuation(comma) special series identification (e.g., "Part," "New Series") if necessary (comma) volume number(colon)first page(hyphen)last page(period). PERIOD)

1. All listed authors are always shown last name first.

2. In the reference section, an author's name is written out in successive entries, not replaced with dashes.

3. For references with the same first author (or editor), list all solo-authored papers first in chronological order, then all papers with two authors in alphabetical and then chronological order, then all papers with more than two authors in chronological order. ALL authors and editors should be included (no et al.).

4. Append letters to publication years to distinguish references that share the same first author and whose in-text citations would otherwise be identical. For example, “Lee, A. 2007a.” versus “Lee, A. 2007b.”, which would be cited in the text as Lee (2007a) and Lee (2007b). Note that when there are more than two authors, letters should be used even if the author lists are not identical, as long as the first author is the same.

Sorting examples:

Doyle, P. 1992.

Doyle, P. and Howlett, P. 1989a.

Doyle, P. and Howlett, P. 1989b.

Doyle, P., Donovan, D.T., and Nixon, M. 1994.

Doyle, P., Bradley, S.R.A., Pirrie, D., Riccardi, A.C., and Olivero, E. 1996.

McIntosh, J.S. 1990a.

McIntosh, J.S. 1990b.

McIntosh, J.S. 1995.

McIntosh, J.S. and Carpenter, K. 2001.

McIntosh, J.S. and Williams, M.E. 1988.

McIntosh, J.S., Miles, C.A., Cloward, K.C., and Parker, J.R. 1996a.

McIntosh, J.S., Miller, W.E., Stadtman, K.L., and Gillette, D.D. 1996b.


5. Use complete article titles and complete journal names.

6. Where they exist, DOIs must be provided for all journal articles in the form, following the full article citation. The DOI for any published article can be found at
The DOIs must start with Do NOT add a period to the end of the DOI string.

7. For titles of journal articles and book chapters, only capitalize the first word and proper names.

8. Capitalize all major words for titles of journals and books.

9. Do not italicize titles of articles, books, or journals. Only use italics for genus names, species names, and other words that would ordinarily be italicized.

10. Avoid using abbreviations for publication information such as Part, Series, or Volume. Very common abbreviations may be used (e.g., SEPM, USGS, USA, UK).

11. MSc theses and PhD dissertations should be referred to as the granting institution prefers.

12. Page numbers are not included for book citations.

13. In journal citations, a comma follows the journal name, a colon follows the volume number, and a double hypen is used for the page range:

 Articles in Journals:

Ausich, W.I. and Kammer, T.W. 1990. Systematics and phylogeny of the late Osagean and Meramecian crinoids Platycrinites and Eucladocrinus from the Mississippian stratotype region. Journal of Paleontology, 64:759--778.

Bacon, A.M., Demeter, F., Schuster, M., Long, V.T., Thuy, N.K., Antoine, P.-O., Sen, S., Huu Nga, H., and Huong, N.M. 2004. The Pleistocene Ma U’Oi cave, northern Vietnam: palaeontology, sedimentology and palaeoenvironments. Geobios, 37:305--314.

Articles in Conference Proceedings:

Bechert, D. and Reif, W. 1985. On the drag reduction of the shark skin. Conference Proceedings of the 23rd Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Reno, Nevada, p. 546.

AND Articles in Conference Proceedings (cited as a journal):

Balseiro, D. and Powell, M.G. 2018. Carbonate collapse and the Late Paleozoic Ice Age biodiversity crisis. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 50:73--78.

Book (single author):

Mayr, E. 1963. Animal Species and Evolution. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Book (multiple authors):

Draper, N. and Smith, H. 1981. Applied Regression Analysis, Second Edition. John Wiley & Sons, New York.

Book (edited series):

Berg, L.S. 1958. System der Rezenten und Fossilen Fischartigen und Fische. In series: Borriss, H. and Gersch, M. (eds.), Hochschulbücher für Biologie 4. VEB Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin, Germany.

Article in an Edited Book:

Eldredge, N. and Gould, S.J. 1972. Punctuated equilibria: an alternative to phyletic gradualism, p. 82--115. In Schopf, T.J.M. (ed.), Models in Paleobiology. Freeman, Cooper and Company, San Francisco.

Dissertation or Thesis:

Hageman, S.J. 1992. Morphometric approaches to systematics and microevolution: applications from Paleozoic Bryozoa. Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA.

Electronic References:

Kiessling, W., Hendy, A., Villier, L., Fürsich, F., and Patzowsky, M. 2011. Echinoidea occurrence data, 6292 records downloaded 21 July 2011. Paleobiology Database.

References to electronic resources should be formatted as much like an ordinary citation as possible. They should be alphabetized by author, who might be an individual (e.g., “Romer, R.”), a corporate entity (e.g., “Palaeontological Association”), or “Anonymous”. The titles of the specific work and the more general work in which it is published should be given, as well as the internet address. ISO Standard 690-2 covers electronic references.

Note that credit should always be given for data whose source was a research database such as Paleobiology Database (PBDB), Neogene Old World (NOW) database, and FaunMap.

When you publish on such data it is recommended that you notify the major contributors, acknowledge the contributors by name, and provide a citation including the date of access. Some databases, such as the PBDB, ask authors to register publications in which data have been used.

Article in Palaeontologia Electronica (volumes 1-22):

Greenwalt, D.E., Wingerath, J.G., and Evenhuis, N.L. 2015. Two new and disparate fossil bee flies (Bombyliidae: Anthracinae) from the Americas and reassessment of Anthrax dentoni Lewis, 1969. Palaeontologia Electronica, 18.3.51A:1--10.

Article in Palaeontologia Electronica (volumes 23+):

Lee, A.H. 2020. Fossils and more fossils. Palaeontologia Electronica, 23(1):a01.

Please note: Each PE paper receives a DOI during the galley process, but the DOI will not be live until 5–7 days after the publication date.

Non-Roman Alphabets:

Gorokhov, I.M., Semikhatov, M.A., and Drubetskoi, E.P. 1991. Rb-Sr and K-Ar vozrast osadochnyh geochronometrov nizhnego rifeya Anabarskogo massiva. Izvestiya Akademii Nauk SSSR, Seriya Geologicheskaya, 7:17--32. (In Russian)

Luo, Q.L. 1991. New data on the microplants from Changlongshan Formation of upper Precambrian in western Yanshan Range. Tianjin Institute of Geology and Mineral Resources Bulletin, 25:107--118. (In Chinese with English abstract)

Field Guides (provide enough information to locate publication):

Cooper, J.D. 1981. Geology of the Eastern Puente Hills, p. 35-54. In Woyski, M.S. (ed.), 1981 Tour and Field Guide. National Association of Geology Teachers Far Western Section. Chevron Oil Field Research Company, Fullerton, California.

Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology:

Lane, N.G. 1978. Synecology, p. T343-T345. In Moore, R.C. and Teichert C. (eds.), Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, Part G, Echinodermata 2. Geological Society of America and University of Kansas Press, Boulder, Colorado, and Lawrence, Kansas.

Robison, R.A. (ed.) 1983. Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, Part G, Bryozoa, Revised. Geological Society of America and University of Kansas Press, Lawrence, Boulder, Colorado and Lawrence, Kansas.


Rumford, J. 2018. Title of article. New York Times (late ed.). 21 May 2018:A1,A10-A11.

Rumford, J. 2018. Title of article. Daily Journal, Cleveland, Ohio. 21 May 2018. https://---------- Url if accessed electronically and no page number. City/state location if name of journal might be found in multiple locations.

Publicity, Press Releases, and Embargo Dates

PE publishes papers in open-access format that is accessible to any interested party. The plain- language summary describes the paper’s main findings for a non-technical audience. Technical abstracts of the paper are provided in several major languages, translated for the journal by volunteer members of our board from around the world. Publication of each paper is also posted to our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Many papers are featured in the PE blog and authors are encouraged to provide us with general interest material for our posts. Please contact our Publicity Editor for questions about the blog or other posts.

Authors or press officers who are planning news releases relating to PE papers are encouraged to consult with the Executive Editor. We cannot always predict the exact date of publication because we release each paper when proofing and corrections have been completed. If a precise embargo date is desired, please consult with both the Executive and Managing editors at the time your paper is accepted.

Please include the following sentence in press releases, “Palaeontologia Electronica is the oldest electronic professional, peer-reviewed journal of paleontology and is sponsored by the Palaeontological Association, the Paleontological Society, and the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology”.


First Submissions (Pre-review)

Authors submitting new manuscripts should submit a single PDF file that contains all elements of the manuscript, including text, tables, figures, and captions, except for author listing and author affiliations, acknowledgements, animations, executables, and other dynamic files. This manuscript file should consist of the following subdivisions, each starting on a new page:

1. Title page with keywords

2. Abstract and plain language summary

3. Manuscript text

4. References

5. Captions

6. Figures

7. Tables

8. Appendices

Pre-review manuscripts should be submitted in PDF format. Any file type that cannot be embedded in a PDF or MS-Word file (videos etc.) must be submitted separately. If you cannot submit files as a PDF, please contact one of the executive editors for alternative suggestions.

Final Submissions

For manuscripts that have been accepted or provisionally accepted, revised manuscript text should be submitted as one MS-Word or RTF file. Note: after final submission no changes will be allowed to the abstract. The following sections in the following order should be included:

1. title page,

2. list of authors,

3. abstract,

4. author contact information including email addresses,

5. translated abstracts (OPTIONAL),

6. plain language summary,

7. body of the text,

8. acknowledgements,

9. references, and

10. appendix/figure/table captions.

Figures, tables and appendices must be submitted as separate files at final submission. Author information and acknowledgements must be included in the final submission.

Appendices and Tables

Lengthy data subordinate to the text should be assembled into one or more separate, numbered appendices following the references. Files may be submitted as PDFs, word processor documents, spreadsheets, or other suitable kinds of files. You are strongly encouraged to supply appendixes as PDFs if they are wider than one page (for tables in PDF submission please include the authors' names and article title and appendix caption on each table). If submitting tables in spreadsheet format, single-worksheet files are required. If you submit a spreadsheet with several active worksheets, these may be lost during final formatting. 

Any data that includes a numerical range should show the range as ##--###, meaning number, double hyphen, number.


Submit your captions within the text MS-Word or RTF file. Captions should be in the same format as for newly submitted manuscripts. Include captions for ALL figures, tables, and appendices.


Authors of revised manuscripts must submit each figure as a separate, stand-alone file. Do NOT supply your final figures in Word or PDF format.

At this time if submitting Illustrator files, please save to CS6 version.

As you build your figure please keep in mind a vertical format is better suited for both the web and print version of the journal. Photographic figures should be supplied as TIFF or PSD (Photoshop) format; vector files should be supplied as AI (Illustrator CS6) or Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) files. All files should be in RGB format, not CYMK. Text and lines reproduce best as vector graphics. If you cannot match these formats please contact the editors for alternatives. Figure parts must be lettered, not numbered, for example 1A, 1B, 1C (not 1.1, 1.2, 1.3). Figure parts must match those listed in caption. Figures should normally be created with widths equal to 175 mm or 84 mm at 300 ppi or higher (figures can be reproduced at 150 ppi for first PDF submission). Using this sizing will create a figure that is proportional to the page, but figures can be larger or smaller. The size of letters, numbers and symbols should be chosen with the printed size in mind (8 point type or larger). Also, authors must ensure that the contrast between inscriptions and background is sufficient. Images should be arranged so as to make the most economical use of space. Author photos should be supplied at 72 ppi and at least 300 pixels wide. Photographs, artwork and drafting are expected to be of professional quality. Illustrations should be examined critically and redrafted if necessary for quality, clarity and appropriate scale. Authors are encouraged to make use of colour figures where possible. Papers may be delayed or rejected if illustrations are not considered acceptable by the referees or the Editors. Photographic Figures must include a scale within the photograph or must indicate the size of the specimen/object/field of view in the caption. Images on figures should be of uniform contrast and density. Because many manuscripts may be printed by the reader, the background should be white for line drawing, plot, and sketch Figures and should be either white or black for photographic Figures. Prior to submission, the author should print all figures, whether colour or black and white, to check how the image appears when viewed on paper as well as on screen. Colour figures should be printed in black and white, too, to check if the greyscale values of colours used are sufficiently different. If colour tone is important, the author should work with a colour calibrated monitor and a greyscale bar should be included as part of the image so that the reader can calibrate to that scale.

Please note that the black background figures should use 0,0,0 in RGB or C75, 68M, 67Y, 90K in CYMK.


Animations may be submitted in MOV (Quicktime) or animated GIF formats. Animations should be sized to facilitate viewing on fast Internet connections, and ideally should be approximately 512 pixels. Animations should be treated as Figures for numbering, placement, and captioning. A still for each animation should be provided for placement in the print version of the journal.

Other formats

Palaeontologia Electronica encourages active experimentation with animation, 2D and 3D modeling of morphologies, and on-line access to databases. To submit code, executables, or other media formats, please contact the editors.

Maximum File Size

Individual files may not exceed 50 MB, and the total size of all combined files may not exceed 260 MB. If your files are larger than this PE will not be able to host them on the server. In instances where total files size exceeds 260 MB, authors should contact the Managing Editor to discuss alternative options. The use of third-party file sharing websites (e.g. Morphobank, Figshare, Dryad) is possible but should only be considered in consultation with the editors.

File Naming Conventions

All material submitted to PE must meet the following electronic-submission requirements, which are based on ISO 9660 constraints for naming of files. Your file names may ONLY contain the following characters:

1. Lower case

2. Digits 0-9

3. The symbols underscore (_) or period (.).

Your file names may _NOT_ contain any of the following:

1. More than 8 characters (e.g.,

2. File extensions longer than 3 characters (e.g., RudistManuscript.text)

3. Spaces (e.g., Figure 1 Horowitz Ms.doc)

4. Any other characters not listed above (e.g., ~!@#$%^&*()+=-?><,;"'[]{})

It is not necessary to use ‘speaking’ names, because a short description of each file can be given during submission.


  • Manuscripts should be submitted online via PEMSATS at
  • First submission should be as a single file in PDF format with figures and tables embedded. This file should not include author biographies, author names/addresses, or acknowledgements (these should be included in the final submission only).
  • Final submission should be made as multiple files. The text should be in an editable word processor file (RTF or MS Word format preferred). Tables may be submitted as spreadsheets, figures should be submitted at full size as TIFF, PSD, AI, or EPS files, with widths of 175 mm or 84 mm, and with a resolution of 300 ppi (or higher).
  • Text citations have commas between author and date (Smith, 2001).
  • References are formatted correctly and have DOIs when available.
  • Keywords, author biographies, abstracts, and Plain Language Summaries are entered separately in PEMSATS.
  • Figures, Tables, and Appendices must be numbered in the order they are cited in the text. All material should be numbered. Figures will be placed where they are first mentioned in the text.
  • Information about new taxonomic names described in the paper must be provided at the time of submission in PEMSATS.
  • Authors will be able to correct galley proofs for mistakes introduced in production, not for post-hoc editing of their paper. All corrections should be sent as a single communication by the senior author to the managing editor.

 (updated 7 December 2022)