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Palaeontology (Journal)

ISSN 1475-493 (online) | ISSN 0031-0239 (print)

The journal Palaeontology is devoted to the publication of innovative and timely hypothesis-driven research that significantly advances our understanding of the history of life on Earth.  Its scope includes palaeozoology, palaeobotany, systematic studies, palaeoecology, micropalaeontology, palaeobiogeography, functional morphology, stratigraphy, taxonomy, taphonomy, palaeoenvironmental reconstruction, palaeoclimate analysis and biomineralization studies.  Synthetic papers that span several of these areas are particularly welcome.

Articles published

Original Article: Reports of original research that advance our understanding of palaeontology in significant ways, either by the application of innovative approaches, or by addressing current issues in palaeontology with new empirical data. Usually 10–25 printed pages in length.

Review: Authoritative overviews of topics where there has been notable recent progress and it would be helpful to summarize the advances to a general audience. Typically 10–25 printed pages in length.

Rapid Communication: Short reports of original research that are of high calibre and represent a significant increase in our understanding of issues of wide topical interest to the palaeontological community. Typically 4–6 printed pages, including references, with no more than four figures.

Discussion: We welcome discussion of any paper published recently in Palaeontology.  Comments are shared with the corresponding author of the original article who may append a response.  Both will be published together.

Technical Report: Reports of significant new techniques or software packages.

See For Authors section below for more information.


Palaeontology is indexed/abstracted in:

  • Academic Search (EBSCO Publishing)
  • Academic Search Alumni Edition (EBSCO Publishing)
  • Academic Search Premier (EBSCO Publishing)
  • ASFA: Aquatic Sciences & Fisheries Abstracts (ProQuest)
  • Biological Abstracts (Thomson Reuters)
  • BIOSIS Previews (Thomson Reuters)
  • CSA Biological Sciences Database (ProQuest)
  • Current Contents: Physical, Chemical & Earth Sciences (Thomson Reuters)
  • Ecological Abstracts (Elsevier)
  • Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition (Thomson Reuters)
  • Oceanic Abstracts (ProQuest)
  • Petroleum Abstracts (University of Tulsa)
  • ProQuest Central (ProQuest)
  • ProQuest Research Library (ProQuest)
  • Research Alert (Thomson Reuters)
  • Science Citation Index (Thomson Reuters)
  • Science Citation Index Expanded (Thomson Reuters)
  • SCOPUS (Elsevier)
  • VINITI (All-Russian Institute of Science & Technological Information)
  • Zoological Record (Thomson Reuters)

Biodiversity Heritage Library

Biodiversity Heritage Library Logo

In addition to the articles hosted by the Association and Wiley (see Archive) many can also be found on the Biodiversity Heritage Library: Palaeontology@BHL.

For Authors

Publishing with PalAss

Thinking of publishing in the journal Palaeontology? If so please read our guide to publishing within our journals (covering: how to submit a manuscript; initial assessment; editorial decision; production; copyright and open access; offprints).

A 'Publishing with PalAss' short guide is available here: 

Manuscript Preparation

Instructions for authors are available here:

Authors are also strongly advised to read the following: 


Please visit our online submission site:

Note that the same submission site should be use for both Palaeontology and Papers in Palaeontology and all papers will be considered for both journals.

Handling of manuscripts after submission

An initial assessment of the manuscript is undertaken by the Editorial Board, usually within two days of submission.  The Editorial Board may also recommend that the scope of the paper is more suitable for Palaeontology’s sister journal Papers in Palaeontology.  In this case, the corresponding author will be contacted directly and the paper may be transferred without resubmission.  Currently, the journal receives many more articles than can be published in a year.  Papers that lack novelty, or are too restricted in their scope, will be rejected without review.  A manuscript that lacks broad appeal to the readership and is instead, at best, a worthwhile but not exceptional contribution to specialists is unlikely to succeed.  Similarly, papers dealing with one or a few new taxa belonging to well-documented groups will be rejected.  Authoritative synoptic taxonomic revisions of faunas/floras or reports of new taxa of international importance are welcome, but must use the new insights gained to address, ideally resolve, a broader issue in palaeobiology.  It is imperative that the author demonstrates the wider appeal of the paper to the readership.  This should be stated clearly in a covering letter, be obvious from the abstract, be developed in the introduction to the paper, and explored in the Discussion.

A paper may also be returned to the author without review if it has not been prepared in accordance with the Instructions to Authors, or if there is room for linguistic improvement. A list of independent suppliers of editing services is available from Wiley Author Services. All services are paid for and arranged by the author, and do not guarantee acceptance for publication.

If the Editorial Board recommends review, the paper will be passed to a Scientific Editor who will manage the peer review process.  A decision on whether or not to publish the manuscript will be made in the light of the comments of at least two referees, an assessment of the technical aspects of the paper (including style and figure formats), and the opinions of the Scientific Editor and Editor-in-Chief.  The corresponding author will be notified.

Reporting and materials availability requirements

Details of palaeontological samples and specimens should include clear provenance information to ensure full transparency of the research methods. Samples should always be collected and exported in accordance with relevant permits and local laws, and in a responsible manner. Any submission detailing new material from protected sites should include information regarding the requisite permission obtained. Palaeontological and type specimens should be deposited in a recognised museum or collection to permit free access by other researchers in perpetuity.

Preprint policy

Preprints are versions of scientific manuscripts that have not been through formal peer-review or publication in a journal. They may be posted online pre-submission or post-acceptance of a revised version (green open access). With regard to the former we do not consider papers that have been posted on preprint servers such as paleoRχiv or bioRχiv, prior to submission to our journals. This is because the Palaeontological Association aims to publish the results of important original research; we do not accept papers describing work that has been published before, as this diminishes their immediacy and impact. Prior publication is defined as follows: results are considered to have already been published if they have appeared in sufficient detail to allow replication, are publicly accessible with a DOI, and can be cited. A paper has clearly been published if it has appeared in a journal or server cited by any widely used abstracting service, whether in print or online, in English or in any other language. Conversely, an abbreviated summary of work in a conference abstract does not constitute prior publication. However, when two of the three criteria (replicability, public accessibility, citeability) are met, or only a portion of an article has appeared before, the authors must convince the Editorial Board at the time of submission that the available preprint data is essential for the submitted paper yet forms only a minor, supportive contribution to the work they now wish to be considered. A paper that has been posted on a preprint server prior to submission and which largely or completely replicates the results being presented will be considered publicly accessible and citeable and will be rejected. Authors must disclose details of preprint posting, including DOI and licensing terms, upon submission of a manuscript. When a manuscript is made available in its published state in Palaeontology or Papers in Palaeontology, it is the author’s responsibility to ensure that the preprint record is updated with a publication reference, including the DOI and a URL link to the published version of the article on the journal website.

Upload of a preprint at the same time as submission or following submission is acceptable. However, please be aware that preprints including new taxonomic names should not be uploaded before publication of the final version of record.


The Palaeontological Association asserts copyright on all articles and images in its electronic and print publications unless otherwise stated. Articles or figures in the journal Palaeontology may be reproduced in print or electronic medium for teaching, and for non-profit educational and research purposes, without fees or further permissions, providing that acknowledgements to 'The Palaeontological Association' is given, and that the source of the reproduced material is quoted in full. The Palaeontological Association reserves the right to withdraw this permission without notice. Written permission is required by the Association for all other forms of capture, reproduction and/or distribution of any of its publications or items in its publications. Permission should be sought from the Executive Officer (