Manuscript Preparation for The Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology

Thalattosuchian skull, Paläontologisches Museum München, photo credit: C. A. Brochu

Manuscript Preparation for The Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology

This page replaces all previous pdf-format JVP guides for authors, effective 07/01/2022

JVP publishes two categories of papers: Articles and Short Communications. Authors must indicate during submission in which category they wish their manuscript to be considered. Please, follow the links at the bottom of this page to prepare your manuscript according to the type of article.

Monographs can be considered for publication as supplements to the Journal; consult the Memoirs Editor prior to submission.

Book reviews should be submitted to the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Newsletter.

JVP now offers relaxed-format initial submission. This means that while we ask authors to do their best in following the formatting guidelines listed below, manuscripts will not be rejected or unsubmitted for formatting errors, as has been done in the past. Manuscripts still must include high-quality figures, reproducible science, and be written intelligibly in order to be sent out for peer review.

Please format your manuscript according to the following guidelines:

General Requirements
All typescript pages, including references, figure captions, tables, and appendices, must be double-spaced.

  • All pages must be numbered. Leave at least 25 mm (1 in) margins on all sides of each page.
  • Type must be 12-point size, Helvetica or Arial fonts are recommended.
  • The right margin must not be justified. This combination of margins, double spacing and type size should yield about 26 lines per page.
  • Figure size, format and resolution must conform to the guidelines indicated (see FIGURES section for more detail).
  • Only one version of each figure (color or greyscale) is required for initial submission.

Nomenclature

Manuscripts must conform to the mandatory provisions of the Fourth Edition (1999) of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN, available on-line at iczn.org). New taxon names must be registered in ZooBank. Instructions on how to do this will be provided with the proofs.

Material

All specimens used in diagnostic descriptions, in illustrations, or in taxonomic discussions must be properly curated and reposited in a recognized public or private, non-profit institution. All material mentioned in a paper must fulfill the criteria set out within the Society‘s Bylaw on Ethics.

Phylogenetic Analysis

If a manuscript includes a phylogenetic analysis, special requirements apply. The methodology must conform to the PHYLOGENETIC ANALYSES section of this page.

Histological Data

For manuscripts with histological data, high-resolution versions of figured histological slides must be uploaded as supplemental information or (preferably) to Morphobank as image files (e.g., jpg, tiff). Because histological features can vary across a section, the entire thin section should be imaged, ideally via a stitched (montaged) set of photographs taken under magnification, or, if that is unavailable, via high quality desktop scanner. Histological image stacks (e.g., confocal) fall under the same policy as CT data. To request possible exceptions to these policies in unusual cases, contact the senior editors.

Datasets

Datasets supporting statistical and phylogenetic analyses must be uploaded as Supplementary Data for the benefit of reviewers and readers. Such supplementary files must be submitted and available to the reviewers along with the main manuscript files. If you are not sure about the disposition of particular datasets, contact the Senior Editors about whether or not they should be published within the manuscript or as Supplemental Information. This is a mandatory requirement for publication.

In addition, for the sake of transparency and to enhance collaboration, we also strongly recommend uploading datasets, character descriptions, and accompanying images to a suitable online repository (MorphoBank is recommended), although this is not a mandatory requirement for publication

Also mandatory for publication, all raw data necessary for validating anatomical descriptions must be included as supplementary material, uploaded to a freely publicly accessible data repository whose appropriateness will be determined at the discretion of the editors. These data include but are not limited to raw (i.e., unsegmented) CT or MRI slices or optical image stacks. Authors are permitted to crop tomographic slices to the reported feature(s) of interest provided they include the correct scaling/pixel size for the newly cropped image. Examples include providing raw CT scans of endocranial, nasal, or inner ear cavities rather than solely providing segmented 3D models. Statements to the effect of “Data are available upon request from the authors” are not permitted in JVP. Exceptions to this policy can be made in cases of copyright restrictions imposed by museums, human subjects data, or other sensitive data (such as those involving endangered species), at the discretion of the editors.

Manuscript Preparation: Articles
  • Manuscripts intended as Articles (papers of 6 or more printed pages in the Journal) should not exceed 100 pages of double-spaced typescript including references, tables, and appendices at US Letter (21.5 by 28.0 cm; 8.5 by 11.0 in) or A4 (21.0 by 29.7 cm) page size.
  • The manuscript should not exceed a ratio of approximately 1:3 between the number of figures plus tables and the number of typescript pages exclusive of references and captions.
  • Longer manuscripts, or ones with an unusually large number of figures or tables, may be considered, but the Senior Editors must be consulted prior to submission.
  • The manuscript main text document should have its contents arranged in the following order: title page, abstract, main text, acknowledgments, literature cited, and figure captions.
  • Provide a running head in sentence case (no more than 50 characters, including spaces) at the end of the title page. Example “RH: Last Name et al.—Short title here”

TITLE PAGE

Title

  • The title of the paper should be in upper and lower case (so-called Sentence capitalization), in lightface (not bold), centered.
  • Taxonomic names listed in titles and abstracts must be separated by commas. The most inclusive taxon name must come first (i.e., Mammalia, Carnivora, Canidae).
  • Names of genus- or species-group taxa or equivalent must be in italics.

Author Names

  • Separated by commas (comma before superscript/asterisk)
  • The last author’s name follows a comma, and the word “and” in lowercase
  • Author names are all caps and centered
  • Provide complete postal address and postal codes for all authors; use upper and lower case; center; separate addresses with semicolon and new line; provide email address; omit period at end of last address
  • Full first names are preferred (MARY ANNING), but initials are acceptable (M. ANNING). Be consistent.
  • Denote author address by superscript number. The superscript appears immediately after any punctuation (usually a comma) that follows an author’s name: GEORGE G. SIMPSON,1,† ALFRED S. ROMER,*,2 and WILLIAM K. GREGORY3
  • Clearly denote corresponding author with a superscript asterisk (see above example) and provide *Corresponding author as a footnote.
  • For current address different from address where work was done, denote with superscript dagger (see above example) and provide footnote: †Current address: Department of….
  • Use fully spelled out country names for all affiliations (United Kingdom, Russia, Australia) with one exception (U.S.A.).

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT—The abstract must be formatted as in this example and must begin on a new page. It should summarize the main facts, ideas, and conclusions of the Article, and not simply list the topics discussed, but it must not exceed 250 words. Include all new taxonomic names for referencing purposes. Abbreviations that are not listed in the Details of Style for Text (provided here) should be avoided. Literature citations are normally not allowed in the abstract.

Alternate-language summary

A non-English-language summary may be added to the standard abstract in exceptional cases. Permission to have such a category comes from the Senior Editor. The summary should be an exact translation of the English abstract, placed after the Abstract and before the beginning of the text.

HEADINGS

There are three types of headings (or headers) as per the following examples.

PRIMARY HEADING

Text or secondary heading follows after a blank line. Do not write the primary heading in small caps. A blank line precedes the primary heading.

Secondary Heading

Text, if any, follows on the next line, indented. A blank line precedes the secondary heading. Use Title Capitalization (Capitalize the Important Words), not sentence capitalization. Do not cite figures or tables within headings.
Tertiary Heading—Text follows here after an em dash, without spaces. The em dash should not be bold. The heading should be indented, but there is no blank line preceding a tertiary heading. Use Title Capitalization (Capitalize the Important Words). If you are unable to generate an em dash, use two hyphens.

ABBREVIATIONS

There can be separate ‘Institutional Abbreviations’ and ‘Anatomical Abbreviations,’ each beginning with a tertiary heading. The list should be ordered alphabetically by abbreviation. Note that the abbreviation is in bold but the punctuation is not. Indicate city, state or province, and country names for all institutional affiliations. Use fully spelled out country names for all affiliations (United Kingdom, Russia, Australia) with one exception (U.S.A.). Examples:

Institutional Abbreviations—AMNH, American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York, U.S.A.; GLGMV, Guilin Longshan Geological Museum, Guilin, Guangxi, China; MACN, Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia”, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina; MCZ, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A; NHMUK, Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom; ROM, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; WAM, Western Australia Museum, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.

Anatomical Abbreviationsa, articular; prz, prezygapophysis; z, zygantrum.
List anatomical abbreviations either in a separate section as in this example, especially when captions are used in multiple figures, or else in the figure captions, but not in both places. If listing them in figure captions, include all abbreviations for a given figure within its caption; do not refer the reader to another caption.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Avoid long and unnecessarily flowery acknowledgments. Use initials for all individuals being thanked, except to begin a sentence; avoid using titles such as Dr. or Prof.; use initials to distinguish among authors of the manuscript, and abbreviations for institutions listed in the manuscript text. Consider thanking the reviewers, including those remaining anonymous, and the Editor who handled the manuscript. Use active voice and concise language, as in this example: “I/We thank A. Able, B. Baker, and C. Charles for capable field assistance, and D. Delta for assisting EFG during a collection visit to the AMNH. Editor B. Careful and reviewers A. Positive and O. Negative made constructive suggestions for improvement of the manuscript. NSF grant 12345 to H.I.J. supported this research.”

Manuscript Preparation: Short Communications

Manuscripts intended as Short Communications should not exceed 15–16 manuscript pages or approximately 4000–4200 words (including references), including any combination of figures and tables which do not exceed two pages.

Short Communications do not have a published abstract, though an abstract and a plain-language summary are required as part of the on-line submission process.

The manuscript main text document should have its contents arranged in the following order: title page, main text, acknowledgments, literature cited, and figure captions.

Provide a running head in sentence case (no more than 50 characters, including spaces) at the end of the title page. Example “RH: Last Name et al.—Short title here”

TITLE PAGE

Title

  • The title of the paper should be in upper and lower case (so-called Sentence capitalization), in lightface (not bold), flush left.
  • Taxonomic names listed in titles and abstracts must be separated by commas. The most inclusive taxon name must come first (i.e., Mammalia, Carnivora, Canidae).
  • Names of genus- or species-group taxa or equivalent must be in italics.

Author Names

  • Separated by commas (comma before superscript/asterisk)
  • The last author’s name follows a comma, and the word “and” in lowercase
  • Author names are all caps and flush left
  • Addresses run together and flush left, following authors’ names. Example:

MARTHA T. THOMPSON1, and T. JOHN SMITH2; 1Quaternary Sciences Program and Department of Geology, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona 86011, U.S.A., doodaa@arizona.com; 2University of Toronto in Mississauga, 3359 Mississauga Road, Mississauga, Ontario, L5L 1C6, Canada, jqp@uknow.ca

  • Provide complete postal address and postal codes for all authors; use upper and lower case; center; separate addresses with semicolon and new line; provide email address; omit period at end of last address
  • Full first names are preferred (MARY ANNING), but initials are acceptable (M. ANNING). Be consistent.
  • Denote author address by superscript number. The superscript appears immediately after any punctuation (usually a comma) that follows an author’s name: GEORGE G. SIMPSON,1,† ALFRED S. ROMER,*,2 and WILLIAM K. GREGORY3
  • Clearly denote corresponding author with a superscript asterisk (see above example) and provide *Corresponding author as a footnote.
  • For current address different from address where work was done, denote with superscript dagger (see above example) and provide footnote: †Current address: Department of….
  • Use fully spelled out country names for all affiliations (United Kingdom, Russia, Australia) with one exception (U.S.A.).

ABSTRACT

Short Communications do not have an abstract in the main text file, but an abstract must be entered separately during web submission because it is used to help reviewers decide whether they are willing to review the manuscript.

HEADINGS

There are three types of headings (or headers) as per the following examples.

PRIMARY HEADING

Text or secondary heading follows after a blank line. Do not write the primary heading in small caps. A blank line precedes the primary heading.

Secondary Heading

Text, if any, follows on the next line, indented. A blank line precedes the secondary heading. Use Title Capitalization (Capitalize the Important Words), not sentence capitalization. Do not cite figures or tables within headings.
Tertiary Heading—Text follows here after an em dash, without spaces. The em dash should not be bold. The heading should be indented, but there is no blank line preceding a tertiary heading. Use Title Capitalization (Capitalize the Important Words). If you are unable to generate an em dash, use two hyphens.

ABBREVIATIONS

There can be separate ‘Institutional Abbreviations’ and ‘Anatomical Abbreviations,’ each beginning with a tertiary heading. The list should be ordered alphabetically by abbreviation. Note that the abbreviation is in bold but the punctuation is not. Indicate city, state or province, and country names for all institutional affiliations. Use fully spelled out country names for all affiliations (United Kingdom, Russia, Australia) with one exception (U.S.A.). Examples:

Institutional Abbreviations—AMNH, American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York, U.S.A.; GLGMV, Guilin Longshan Geological Museum, Guilin, Guangxi, China; MACN, Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia”, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina; MCZ, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A; NHMUK, Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom; ROM, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; WAM, Western Australia Museum, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.

Anatomical Abbreviationsa, articular; prz, prezygapophysis; z, zygantrum.
List anatomical abbreviations either in a separate section as in this example, especially when captions are used in multiple figures, or else in the figure captions, but not in both places. If listing them in figure captions, include all abbreviations for a given figure within its caption; do not refer the reader to another caption.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Avoid long and unnecessarily flowery acknowledgments. Use initials for all individuals being thanked, except to begin a sentence; avoid using titles such as Dr. or Prof.; use initials to distinguish among authors of the manuscript, and abbreviations for institutions listed in the manuscript text. Consider thanking the reviewers, including those remaining anonymous, and the Editor who handled the manuscript. Use active voice and concise language, as in this example: “I/We thank A. Able, B. Baker, and C. Charles for capable field assistance, and D. Delta for assisting EFG during a collection visit to the AMNH. Editor B. Careful and reviewers A. Positive and O. Negative made constructive suggestions for improvement of the manuscript. NSF grant 12345 to H.I.J. supported this research.”

Journal-Specific Style for Text
  • Use US spelling throughout.
  • Use italics only for generic and specific names or for names of genes. Latin phrases are not italicized: Examples: a priori; gen. et sp. nov.; incertae sedis; in vivo; in vitro; M. supracoracoideus anterior; nomen dubium; per se; sensu; sensu lato; sensu stricto.
  • Do not use underlining anywhere in the manuscript.
  • Use single quotes for select wording and connotations: ‘big’ versus ‘small,’ ….it looks like an inverted ‘bell’ …it seems to be a form of ‘bovid.’
  • Use double quotes for actual quotations from the literature: …as noted by Beard (1942:23) “the skull is twice as long as wide,” or for non-monophyletic taxa when used formally as part of a name, “Pelycosauria.”
  • Always provide the page number for quotations: …as noted by Beard (1942:23), “the skull is twice as long as wide,” There is no space between the colon and the page number or figure reference.
  • Do not use a page number in a citation unless you are providing a quotation or unless there is ambiguity with various statements made by an author: The skull was stated as being large (Frank, 1928:35) but later indicated to be relatively small (Frank, 1928:52).
  • Do not use the apostrophe with numbers or acronyms: use 1950s not 1950’s; NALMAs not NALMA’s.
  • Use English standards for decimal notation: 1,583,400.21.
  • Mammalian teeth: lower teeth in lower case, i1, c1, p1–2, dp2, Rm3; upper teeth in upper case, I1, C1, P1, LDP2, M2–3. This does not have to be stated in the Materials and Methods section.
  • Use metric throughout; include Imperial system in parentheses only if absolutely necessary. Abbreviations: m, meter; mm, millimeter; cm, centimeter; km, kilometer; µm, micron, micron or micrometer if spelled out; mi, mile; ft, feet; in, inch; gal, gallon; l, liter (spell out if without prefix: 3 ml and 1.2 g/ml, but 3 liters and 1.2 g/liter); ml, milliliter; g, gram (not gm); kg, kilogram; mg, milligram. Separate the unit from the numerical quantity by a space (e.g., 3.2 m, 0.5 g).
  • If it is necessary to use mathematical symbols (+, -, =, ’), separate with spaces before and after (e.g., CI = 0.63).
  • Hyphens, en dashes, and em dashes are used in different situations. The hyphen (-) is used between parts of a compound word, as in ‘re-interpretation’ or ‘the basal-most taxon.’ The en dash (–) is used for a range of values, as in ‘pp. 33–44,’ ‘Figs. 5–7,’ ‘Triassic–Jurassic,’ and ‘2–7 hemal arches.’ The em dash (—) is used in running headers and in tertiary headings, such as Diagnosis—Skull large; etc., to indicate missing values in tables, and to emphasize parenthetical phrases, as in ‘The skull—the only element preserved—is extremely wide.’ Do not separate any hyphen or dash from the words around it by spaces.
  • Spell out ‘Figure’ when part of a sentence; abbreviate as ‘Fig.’ when citing a figure in parentheses.
  • Do not cite anatomical abbreviations within the text (e.g., Fig. 3:pt); they should be in the figure caption or in Abbreviations instead.
  • Accepted abbreviations are: aff.; ca.; cf.; e.g.; etc.; i.e.; no. for number (not #); Ma not Mya for megannum; M.A.; M.Sc.; Ph.D., P.O.; viz; vs. (or versus). In a sentence, e.g. and i.e. should be followed by commas, ca. and cf. should not, as in: Diversity includes ca. nine families, e.g., Mustelidae, Felidae, and Canidae.
  • The ‘sister group’ (but ‘sister-group relationship’); ‘crown group’; ‘ingroup’; ‘outgroup’; ‘stem group’; ‘total group’; ‘anterodorsal’, ‘posteroventral,’ etc. (rather than ‘antero-dorsal’); ‘basal-most’ or ‘anterior- most’ item; ‘cheek tooth’ not ‘cheektooth’; ‘co-ossified,’ not ‘coossified’; ‘cross-section’ and ‘cross-sectional view’; ‘field work’ rather than ‘fieldwork’; ‘fishes’; ‘forelimb’ but ‘hind limb.’
  • Avoid single-sentence paragraphs.
  • When citing a reference within a parenthetical phrase, avoid nested brackets by using the following style when the phrase is not complicated: “…there are three centra (four according to Smith, 2006) in the…”
  • When nested brackets are unavoidable, use outer parentheses and inner square brackets, i.e., (text [text]).
Systematic Paleontology Section
There are three different ways to provide your hierarchy: a traditional Linnean ranked hierarchy, an unranked classification with ranked lower levels, and an unranked monophyletic hierarchy. Examples of each type are:

Ranked Hierarchy

Order PYCNODONTIFORMES Berg, 1937
Family COCCODONTIDAE Berg, 1937
Genus HENSODON Kriwet, 2004
HENSODON SPINOSUS (Hennig, 1907)
(Figs. 2–4)

Mesodon spinosum Hennig, 1907:364, fig. 3 (original description).
Mesodon spinosus Hennig, 1907: Steinmann, 1928:56, fig. 14 (emended spelling).
Hensodon spinosus (Hennig, 1907): Kriwet, 2004:526, figs. 1–3, 5–9 (new combination).

Diagnosis—Diagnosis should be differential. Apomorphies of taxon specified if known.
Telegraphic style (no verbs, no articles) strongly encouraged in diagnoses. Example—Apomorphies of taxon: orbit large, longer than deep; mandible shallow, flared posteriorly; mental foramen opening below second premolar. Differing from Alphus brevis in: incisors spatulate; diastema between I1 and C1.

  • Note in the above that ranks are provided, in upper and lower case.
  • All taxonomic names are written in all capital letters and centered (do not use large and small caps).
  • Unranked taxa may be inserted between ranked taxa in the hierarchy.
  • Generic and specific names are in italics and all caps.
  • There is no comma between the taxon and the author but there is a comma between the author and the year of publication. Spell out multiple authors, rather than using ‘et al.’
  • All cited taxonomic authorities must be in the Literature Cited, including those in the synonymy. Follow guidelines in ICZN (1999) for citation of taxonomic authorities.
  • The synonymy should be formatted as in the above example (left justified, with hanging indent if an entry continues on a new line). Leave vertical space above and below the synonymy to set it off from the taxonomic headings and the following text.
  • The punctuation within the synonymy is important. The first line illustrates a first use of a taxonomic name (original description). In the second and third lines of the synonymy, the colon is used to set off the taxonomic name used, with appropriate authority, from a citation of the author who used it in this way. Spell out multiple authors, rather than using ‘et al.’ Cite only the first page establishing the usage, but list all figures.
  • If diagnosing a new, monotypic genus, with separate listings for the genus and the species, the generic diagnosis should be, “As for type and only species.” The full diagnosis is then provided for the new species. An alternative is a combined description of both taxa (“gen. et sp. nov.”) as in the following examples, which would require just one diagnosis.
  • Richter’s signs are acceptable in synonymy lists, but cite Matthews, S. C. 1973. Notes on open nomenclature and synonymy lists. Palaeontology 16:713–719, in the text.

Unranked Hierarchy

REPTILIA Laurenti, 1768
SQUAMATA Oppell, 1811
TEIIDAE Gray, 1827
BISCUSPIDON NUMEROSUS, gen. et sp. nov.
(Figs. 2–4)

Monophyletic Hierarchy

REPTILIA sensu Gauthier, Estes, and de Queiroz, 1988

SQUAMATA sensu Estes, de Queiroz, and Gauthier, 1988

SCLEROGLOSSA sensu Estes, de Queiroz, and Gauthier, 1988 TEIIDAE

Estes, de Queiroz, and Gauthier, 1988

BISCUSPIDON NUMEROSUS, gen. et sp. nov. (Figs. 2–4)

  • You may add ‘sensu Author, date’ if there is a particular phylogenetic definition of a traditional Linnean name.
  • The binomen is equivalent to the genus and species for purposes of conformity with ICZN and must be italicized. Both the genus and species must be declared as new when applicable. Family-group and binomial names are regulated by the ICZN and must be correctly formed. Do not use regulated endings (-oidea, -idae, -inae, -ini, -ina) for new, unranked taxa.
Figures

General Requirements

  • Figures must be submitted electronically. All figures must be fully compiled (a single file for each figure) and prepared for final publication size; neither the editor nor the publisher is responsible for compiling artwork.
  • The journal encourages the use of color figures where this enhances the clarity of the paper. JVP provides color versions of figures free of charge in the online (and pdf) version of an article, but not in the print version of the journal. Therefore, figures need to be prepared in such a way that the grayscale version of the same figure is of acceptable quality to appear in the print version of the journal.
  • High-quality color illustrations can be printed, but the full cost for printing color illustrations must be borne by the author (see COPYRIGHT, PAGE CHARGES, REPRINTS section).
  • At initial submission, authors are encouraged but not required to submit both greyscale and color versions of their figures. If greyscale versions are not submitted, they should be provided before acceptance. Alternatively, the editors will create greyscale versions for the authors by converting the color images.
  • For best results in converting color photographs to grayscale for figures, use the Black and White Adjustment feature in Photoshop (Image/Adjustments/Black and White) if available, and set the image mode to Grayscale.
  • Color figures should be submitted in RGB format. CMYK versions will be requested upon acceptance only for those color illustrations intended to be printed. If authors submit unsupported color modes, editors reserve the right to convert to RGB. Authors will have an opportunity to examine their figures and request changes at the proof stage.
  • Figures must all be cited in the text and they must be numbered in the order in which they are cited.
  • The parts of a composite figure are identified by capital letters in a sans (non-) serif font (Helvetica or Arial). Do not insert figure numbers, author names, or captions within image files themselves.
  • Submit only photos that are in focus and cropped to minimize uninformative space. Adjust leveling, contrast and gray levels to use the full range of grays.
  • The journal prefers white backgrounds, but black backgrounds are acceptable in exceptional circumstances, as long as the contrast between background and image is not excessive (we recommend consulting with the editors).
  • Unless absolutely necessary, do not use a flash when taking photographs. Instead, use directed light (conventionally strongest from the upper left) to create shadows and highlights to show the topography of the specimen.

Figure Size

  • The illustrations must be prepared so that the figure will fit precisely to:
    • full page width (182.033 mm or 7.166 in or 4300 pixels at 600 dpi),
    • 2/3 of full-page width (122 mm or 4.8 in or 2882 pixels), or
    • column width (88.9 mm or 3.539 in or 2100 pixels), and must be no taller than maximum page height (233 mm or 9.17 in or 5504 pixels).
  • Surrounding background space is included in figure size and must be minimized.
  • Standard sans-serif font (Helvetica or Arial) is mandatory for figure labels and lettering. Labels are only black or white, maximizing the contrast. Color or grayscale labels are not accepted.
  • Figure lettering should not be less than 8 points or more than 14 points.
  • All fonts should be embedded in the image files (i.e., images must be flattened). Any fonts that are not embedded will be replaced by Courier which can result in character loss or realignment.
  • Do not use hairline widths in line art. Minimum line width is 0.3 pt.
  • Lengths of scale bars may be either included in the figure or given in the caption; listing of magnifications/reductions in the captions is unacceptable.
  • Measurements must be in metric units.
  • Stereo photographs should be created for reproduction at an interocular width of 65 mm at final size.

File Format and Resolution

  • Submit all image files at final resolution, which is 600 dpi (236 pixel/cm) or better.
  • Name each figure file with author and figure number (e.g., SmithetalFig2.tif).
  • Remove color depth from grayscale images (see above) unless intending to pay for color printing and compress TIFFs using LZW compression to reduce file size without loss of quality.
  • Do not submit jpg files.
  • Figures should be flattened (without layers).
  • The resulting file should be between 0.5 MB and 10 MB in size, depending on contents and dimensions of the figure.

Suggested Cover Art

  • The journal has a full-color cover format and we encourage authors to submit potential cover art with the post-review draft of their manuscript if they believe that their article is an appropriate candidate.
  • Such art can be either a photographic image of an outstanding specimen or locality, or an artist‘s rendering, or some combination.
  • The art should be planned so that it will complement or enhance the cover of the journal, taking into account the main color scheme of the current covers. Editors have found that figures with plain white backgrounds do not work well, and authors are encouraged to substitute another complementary color for the background. Consult recent issues for examples.
  • The art should be submitted in landscape format, in color, 600 dpi, 168 mm (6.6 in, 3969 pixels) wide, and no more than 140 mm (5.5 in, 3307 pixels) tall.
  • Final choice of Cover Article will be made by the editorial team led by the Senior Editors. Art that is not chosen for the cover of the journal could be made available as supplementary online data at the author’s discretion.

Figure Captions

  • These should begin with ‘FIGURE’ in all caps. There is a period after the figure number. Follow the example below.
  • The figure with its caption should be comprehensible without reference to the text; for example, identify the taxon in the caption even if all figures concern the same taxon.
  • The author must indicate the final printed size of each figure.
  • Ensure that the figure captions are compatible with both grayscale and color versions of the figures (this is especially important in the case of color diagrams and maps).

FIGURE 5. Theropod skull bones in lateral view. A, dentary of Allosaurus fragilis (after Madsen, 1976); B, maxilla of same; C, dentary of Carcharodontosaurus, AMNH 1956. Abbreviations: a, articular; af, ascending facet; rt, recurved teeth. Scale bar equals 5 cm. [planned for column, 2/3 page width, page width]

  • Note what is in bold (the punctuation is not).
  • Follow the punctuation conventions exactly.
  • Note the use of lower case in “view. A, dentary …” (not “view. A, Dentary …”)
  • Spell out ‘equals.’
  • Note that the items in the abbreviations are listed alphabetically based on the abbreviation.
  • Include a notation in square brackets at the end of each caption specifying the planned printed size of the figure “[planned for column width] or [planned for 2/3 page width] or [planned for page width].” In case the figure contains a stereo pair and requires a different size than page or column width, mention this within the square brackets [stereo pair; print exact size].
Tables
  • All tables must be cited in the text and the tables must be numbered in the order in which they are cited in the text, even if there is only one table (i.e., Table 1).
  • Tables with their captions should be comprehensible without reference to the text.
  • Foldouts are not acceptable, but tables and charts can be reproduced to cover facing pages.
  • The heading/caption for the table should appear in the table file, above the table, not in a list at the end of the manuscript document.
  • Use ‘TABLE’ (all caps), flush left, in the table heading, with a period after the table number, as in the example below

TABLE 1. Measurements from maxillary specimens studied in this work. ‘*’ indicates measurements based on digital data. Blank cells used when data were deficient. Abbreviations: ALP1, Anteroposterior length without anterior process; DVD1, Greatest dorsoventral depth of maxillary ramus (alveolus where measured).

  • If a table continues on a second page, begin the next page with “TABLE 1. (Continued)”.
  • Text should be written in any sans (non-) serif font (Helvetica or Arial is recommended)
  • Tables should not use bold face.
  • Do not use vertical lines in any table. Use only a few, black, horizontal lines.
  • Never use spaces for aligning numbers or text; use of tabs for aligning columns is discouraged; instead, use the table function of the word processor.
  • Double-space everything even if this means that a table extends to more than one manuscript page.
  • Submit each table as a separate file (labeled, e.g., ‘Author.Table1.doc’).
Citations and References

Citation of References in Text

  • Basic citation style: (Smith et al., 1973)
  • For three or more authors use ‘et al.’, but spell out all authors if cited as a taxonomic authority (use initials if two names with same date).
  • For personal communications, author must obtain written permission from the person being cited, such as an email quoting the passage and giving permission.
  • No space between year/colon and page number or figure, table, and plate designation: (Smith, 1972:16; Smith, 1974:fig. 1). Use lower case for ‘fig.’, ‘pl.’, and ‘table’ in citations of other people‘s work and in synonymies.
  • Order of references cited in parentheses is, first, chronological, in order of first publication by a particular author, then alphabetical in the case of different authors with first publication in the same year: (Hibbard, 1947; Albertson, 1953; Hibbard and Taylor, 1965) (Lund, 1976, 1992, 2003; Lund and Janvier, 1986; Lund and Lund, 1986, 1987; Lund and Youngman, 1994; Lund et al., 1998, 2002).

“Literature Cited” section: general rules

  • Double-space all entries; first line flush left, use hanging indent for remainder of citation.
  • Personal communications, submitted manuscripts, manuscripts in preparation, manuscripts under review, and field notes are not permitted in the Literature Cited; instead, cite these in text; e.g., ‘(pers. comm.)’ or, if it is the author‘s own work, ‘(pers. observ.)’ or ‘(unpubl. data)’; ‘(field notes of G. G. Simpson, 1933, AMNH).’
  • All citations and taxonomic authorities, including those in the Systematic Paleontology section, figure captions, or figures and tables, must be included in the Literature Cited. References cited only in online supplementary data should not be in the Literature Cited.
  • Authors must verify that all references cited in the text (including taxonomic authorities) appear in the Literature Cited section, and that all citations in the Literature Cited section are cited in the text and/or table/figure captions.

Manuscript Submission and Acceptance

  • Submitted/accepted and Handling Editor lines appear as the very last line of the article immediately after the Literature Cited (flush left):

Submitted August 12, 2006; revisions received Month DD, YYYY; accepted Month DD, YYYY. [dates left blank, to be completed by the editors] Handling Editor: NNNN. [name left blank, to be completed by the editors]

Appendices

Appendices appear following the literature cited in the print and pdf versions of an article and should be less than approximately four manuscript pages in length. More extensive information (e.g., faunal lists, character lists, specimen lists, etc.) should be included as supplemental data (see SUPPLEMENTAL DATA for details).

  • Material for an appendix must be submitted as a separate file or files.
  • An appendix or appendices must be referred to in the text and/or in the tables/figures using Arabic numbers beginning with 1.
  • Text should be written in any sans (non-) serif font (e.g., Helvetica or Arial) and double-spaced
  • Use ‘APPENDIX’ (all caps), flush left, as heading, with a period after the appendix number, as in the example below

APPENDIX 1. Character list used to resolve the proxy alioramin growth series based on data from the holotypes of Alioramus altai (IGM 100/1844), A. remotus (GIN 3141/1), and Qianzhousaurus sinensis (GM F10004).

Supplementary Information

Supplementary information (online only content) is supporting material that cannot be included in the printed version for reasons of space. JVP requires that all data files needed to replicate phylogenetic or statistical analyses published in the journal be made accessible to the reader.

Although we strongly recommend phylogenetic datasets to be uploaded to MorphoBank, they must also be made available as supplemental data files on the journal website (see instructions in PHYLOGENETIC ANALYSES). Contact the Senior Editors with any questions about this policy.

We recommend high quality supplemental images to be uploaded to a suitable online repository such as MorphoBank (preferred).

Supplementary files are format free, except for the following requirements:

  • To minimize the number of supplementary files, all additional text (e.g., lists of specimens or characters), figures, and tables should be merged in a single word document, including a title page with title, authors, and ‘Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology’.
  • This file should be self-contained; if literature is cited within the supplementary file, the file must contain its own literature-cited section. The published article must not contain references that are cited only in the supplementary file.
  • If a supplementary file contains tables, figures, or appendices, use Table S1, S2, Figure S1, S2, Appendix S1, etc., to prevent confusion with tables or figures in the main article.
  • Large tables might be submitted as excel files or plain text .csv (Comma Separated Values) files.
  • Each supplementary file must be cited at the appropriate place in the text of the main manuscript (e.g., Supplementary File 1) and be submitted as a separate file with the same name (e.g., ‘supplementary_file_l.doc’).
  • Individual figures or tables within a supplementary file can be cited directly (e.g., Fig. S1, Supplementary File 1).

3D Models.

  • Taylor & Francis Online can display 3D models inline within the article full-text. This is achieved using functionality provided by Sketchfab. Upon acceptance of your manuscript we will upload your 3D model(s) to the Taylor & Francis Sketchfab page. Upon online publication of your manuscript your 3D models will be rendered within the full-text HTML version of your article using an iframe provided by Sketchfab. 3D Models will also be openly available to view and share on the Sketchfab website, however users will not be able to download your model source files. Your 3D model will be published under the same copyright license as your manuscript.
  • We accept the following 3D file formats: .obj,.ply.
  • If supplying your model in .obj format please combine your files into a compressed archive file (ZIP, RAR, 7z) making sure to include all the necessary files: Your model file (.obj); your texture files (.jpg, .png, .tif, etc.); your material file (.mtl)
  • Please also supply a flat image version of the 3D model which will be used for the printed (PDF) version of your article. The flat image should conform to our standard requirements for figures. As per regular figures please provide a title and caption for your model to be displayed online. You may include a maximum of three 3D models per manuscript.
Phylogenetic Analyses

RUNNING ANALYSES, REPORTING, AND PRESENTING RESULTS

Materials and methods

  • Include the size of the matrix (number of characters, number of taxa).
  • Include a brief description of the matrix, if it is based on another matrix, if it is new, etc.
  • Include the name of the software that you used to build the matrix.
  • We recommend using Mesquite or MorphoBank and saving the matrix as a Nexus file (specifying the precise format), such that all characters, character states and taxa are in a single file. You must ensure consistency in these respects between the number of characters and taxa in the manuscript and in the Supplementary file.
  • Check for uninformative characters.
  • Ensure that the characters are copied and pasted into each column (not just character numbers, but the text describing the character should appear in the nexus file).
  • Taxa: use only species-group taxa as terminals and avoid using genera, families, clades etc. as terminals. If a single specimen is used for scoring, indicate which one it is; in case you use one taxon as representative of a clade (e.g., for the outgroup) please indicate which taxon the scoring is based on.
  • Do not use a hypothetical outgroup with all 0s.

Phylogenetic analysis: Provide a detailed methodology of the analysis

Specify the software and version used to perform the analysis (e.g., PAUP*, TNT), what kind of search you have done (e.g., exact or heuristic search); if you carried out a heuristic search, which kind of algorithm you used (e.g., TBR, SPR), how many replicates, how many hits on the shortest tree, how many trees held per replicate; calculate branch support using Bremer (or Decay Index), bootstrap or jackknife; report if you calculate a consensus tree and what kind of consensus tree you report.

Exact searches: For matrices comprising fewer than 25 taxa.

Heuristic searches: For matrices comprising more than 25 taxa. A heuristic parsimony analysis consists of two main processes: tree building, followed by branch swapping. One round of tree building followed by branch swapping can be called a replicate.

The two most common programs PAUP* and TNT approach these two parts a little differently. Report these appropriately.

  • PAUP*: A typical heuristic search strategy in PAUP* consists of numerous (e.g., 10,000) replicates consisting of building a starting tree using random addition sequence (RAS) followed by tree bisection and reconnection branch swapping (TBR) keeping all the shortest trees in each replicate (summarized as RAS+TBR).
  • A typical heuristic search strategy in TNT typically consists of fewer replicates (e.g., 1,000) of building a starting tree (Wagner tree) using RAS, but holding only a few of the shortest trees per replicate. Once all the replicates are done additional rounds of TBR are needed (swapping on the trees in RAM) to find the final set of most parsimonious trees. If this is not done your analysis will undersample the set of most parsimonious trees. [summarized as ((RAS + TBR) + TBR)].

Additionally for parsimony analysis,

  • Are there characters with ordered/additive character states? If yes, which ones? Include the ordering in the nexus file.
  • Do the characters have the same weight? If not, explain why.
  • If implied weights have been used, specify how the k value was calculated (Maximum parsimony specific)
  • If constraints have been used, specify the methodology and from which paper you took the topology (if applicable) and include the constraints, preferably in the Nexus file.
  • If a script is used in the phylogenetic analysis be sure that it is available in a published paper. If it is a new script, it should be uploaded as supplementary material. The results of the script should be also added as supplementary material (see below).

Bayesian inference analyses:

Specify the software and version used to perform the analysis (e.g., MrBayes, RevBayes, BEAST). Specify the model used (e.g., the Markov k-state variable model: Mkv) and whether a gamma rate variation parameter was used (recommended). Were your data partitioned? How long did you run your MCMC chain? How was convergence assessed (split frequency cut-off value? ESS value?). What kind of summary tree are you presenting? Report the posterior probabilities on the summary tree. If more complex models are used (as in BEAST) be sure to provide details on all the model specifications and priors used. In the case of RevBayes, for more complex models please consider providing as supplementary information an image of the graphical model.

Results

Maximum parsimony—report:

  • Length of the tree/s, consistency index (CI), retention index RI (rescaled consistency index, RCI, is not required). Homoplasy index should not be reported: it is 1-CI.
  • Number of most parsimonious trees (MPTs)
  • If a consensus tree was calculated, which kind of consensus is it?
  • Support values for all nodes (preferably on the figure)
  • When referring to synapomorphies please report unambiguous, common synapomorphies (common to both ACCTRAN and DELTRAN optimizations); otherwise please specify.

MAKING YOUR DATA AND ANALYSIS METADATA AVAILABLE AT TIME OF SUBMISSION

We strongly urge authors to upload their matrices, results, and any other relevant files to MorphoBank. If authors decide to benefit from this option, insert the MorphoBank Matrix ID (Mnnnnn) and Project ID (Pnnnn) in the cover letter with a reviewer password, which can be generated on the MorphoBank project’s page. Additional relevant files may also be uploaded to MorphoBank in the Documents section (morphological matrices should not go in the Documents section). MorphoBank users should publish the project simultaneously with publication of the paper. If authors do not choose to use MorphoBank, they may be able to upload their datasets as supplementary information to the journal website. Please contact the Senior Editors with questions about this policy.

Parsimony Analysis

Supplementary material should include the following files.

  • Full matrix in .nex or .tnt format (without the trees) [mandatory; with the character and state information embedded verbatim as they are in the text or cited text of a previous analysis, and unabbreviated taxonomic names; do not just provide added/modified taxa/characters)]
  • README file including all the steps needed to replicate the primary phylogenetic analysis and any sensitivity or secondary analyses that were conducted [mandatory].
  • Detailed information on the character/taxon sampling (description of characters; changes from previous matrices; specimens used to score; relevant literature; figures of character states; photographs of specimens) [optional]
  • Sets of MPTs for all analyses in nexus, newick, or .tre format [mandatory]
  • List of synapomorphies in .pdf or .txt format [optional]
  • In case of constrained analysis, the tree used to constrain and which nodes were constrained [mandatory]
  • If scripts were used, please provide the results of the scripts in a single .pdf or .docx file [optional]

Bayesian Analysis

Please provide as Supplementary Material all files used to perform analyses. In the case of MrBayes, best practice is to embed commands within the included nexus file.

Appendix

Matrices printed as an Appendix are no longer accepted, instead provide the .nex or .tnt file as Supplementary Material (see above).

Common Errors to Avoid
  • ‘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. Use upper case only where mandated by current USGS recommendations—‘Early/Lower Cretaceous’, ‘Middle Devonian’ (for periods/systems and epochs/series), but ‘late/upper Miocene,’ ‘middle Eocene,’ ‘early Paleozoic,’ ‘early/lower Albian,’ and ‘early/lower Tortonian’ (for stage/age/informal subdivision of stage/age/epoch/series).
  • Names of higher taxa are plural for purposes of grammar, as in “The Squamata are a taxon that includes snakes and lizards.” Contrast this to the following: “The taxon Squamata includes snakes and lizards.” Here, the subject of the sentence is the word ‘taxon,’ and the associated verb is singular.
  • Terms such as ‘available’ and ‘valid’ have particular meanings under ICZN and should be avoided unless the specific meaning is intended.
  • A comma separates the name of a taxonomic authority from the date of publication, and commas surround the date when a taxonomic authority is used in a sentence, as in, “…the species Esox lucius Linnaeus, 1758, is the…”
  • Never cite a reference in brackets immediately after the name of a species unless you intend it as a taxonomic authority: “Hensodon spinosus (Hennig, 1907)” means that Hennig named this species in a different genus; see ICZN Article 51.
  • A citation in brackets is acceptable after a generic or other higher taxonomic name because a taxonomic authority for a genus or higher taxon is never in brackets: contrast “…as in Esox Linnaeus, 1758” [authority] with “…as in Esox (Schmidt, 1875)” [ordinary citation].
  • ‘Runs’ implies motion; use ‘extends,’ ‘connects,’ ‘projects’: ‘the lamina extends between the two…’.
  • Avoid overuse of weak words such as ‘suggests,’ ‘appears,’ ‘appears to be,’ ‘probably,’ ‘may be.’ Use stronger words: ‘indicates,’ ‘implies,’ ‘shows,’ ‘illustrates,’ ‘proposes.’ If you know something to be true, then state it.
  • ‘Show’ is often overused: ‘The occipital condyle shows damage…’; write instead ‘…the occipital condyle is damaged.’
  • ‘Possess’ is often overused: ‘The femur possesses a protrusion…’; use the simpler ‘has’ if possible.
  • Avoid words that incorrectly imply ‘time’ such as: ‘since,’ ‘while,’ ‘frequently’; instead use ‘because,’ ‘whereas,’ ‘many.‘
  • Don‘t use ‘oval-shaped,’ ‘square-shaped,’ triangular-shaped,’ etc., when ‘oval,’ ‘square,’ or ‘triangular’ is meant.
  • Use ‘farther’ when the meaning involves physical distance, ‘further’ to indicate a greater degree or additional point.
  • “The crest on the bone is well developed” (note the correct absence of the hyphen), but, “The bone has a well-developed crest” (hyphen required); “…the small, water-worn tooth…” but “the thin, laterally expanded arch.”
  • Rocks do not ‘outcrop’; rocks do ‘crop out.’
  • Capitalization with multiple proper names: ‘Mississippi River’ vs ‘Mississippi and Missouri rivers’; also counties, formations, oceans, states, etc.
  • Comma and period inside closing quotation marks, as in “…is long and thin,” and “…is short and thick.” Colon and semicolon outside quotation marks: “…include the following ‘orders’: Rodentia and Lagomorpha…” and “…the so-called ‘palatine’; however, it…”
  • ‘As’ implies a comparison: red as a rose. ‘Because’ implies the result of some action. “The skull is unknown as it is missing” should be “The skull is unknown because it is missing.”
  • Use “the blade of the scapula…” or “the scapular blade…” rather than “the scapula’s blade…” because inanimate objects cannot possess.
  • ‘Which’ is used to describe, and its phrase is normally set off by commas, whereas ‘that’ defines a situation and is normally used without surrounding commas: “… the basipterygoid process, which is small, is rugose…” versus “… the events that affected dinosaur communities were many …”
  • ‘However’ is often over-used. Avoid the common error of linking two independent/principal clauses by ‘however’ or ‘therefore’ without the required semicolon or period. “The pelvis is large, however, the ilium is small” [incorrect] should be “The pelvis is large; however, the ilium is small” or, “The pelvis is large. However, the ilium is small.”
  • Avoid overuse of the semicolon. Consider if a colon or period would be better.