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An international journal devoted to the publication of papers on all aspects of palaeontology

The journal Palaeontology is devoted to the publication of innovative and timely hypothesis-driven research that significantly advances 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.

Palaeontology publishes the following categories of article.

  • Review articles. These are authoritative overviews covering topics where there has been notable recent progress and where it would be helpful to summarize the advances that have been made to a general audience. Reviews are typically 10-25 printed pages in length, although longer articles are acceptable. They, can have colour illustrations if deemed essential at no extra cost, and will be free to view online to ensure widest dissemination. There will usually be no more than one review article per issue.
  • Rapid communications. These are short reports of original research that are of high calibre and represent significant increase in our understanding of issues of wide topical interest to the palaeontological community. They are typically 4-6 printed pages in length, including references and with no more than 4 figures, and will be fast-tracked through the system for the speediest possible handling to publication. These will be free to view online, and with colour illustrations deemed essential at no cost to the author. There will be a limited number of rapid communication articles per issue.
  • Research articles. These are 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. Papers should generally be no more than 10-25 printed pages in length, though longer articles will be considered if deemed particularly important and appropriate. Colour illustrations and open access are optional at author’s expense. Thematic sets of papers may be published.
  • Comments and Replies. We welcome discussion of any paper published recently in Palaeontology. Comments are not peer-reviewed, but are instead shared with the corresponding author of the original article who may append a response (the Reply). Both are published together, ideally in the part after that in which the original article appeared.

Handling of manuscripts after submission

On submission an initial assessment of all manuscripts is undertaken by the Editorial Board. Currently the journal receives almost twice as many articles as 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 at the time of submission an author demonstrates that a paper will have wide appeal to the readership. This should be stated succinctly in a covering letter at the time of submission, obvious from the abstract of the paper, developed in the Introduction to the paper and explored in the Discussion.

Papers 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.

Manuscripts that are deemed suitable will be passed to a Scientific Editor who will manage the peer-review process. In the light of the comments of at least two referees and the opinions of the Scientific Editor and Editor-in-Chief a decision on whether to publish the manuscript will be made; the corresponding author will be notified by the Editor-in-Chief.

Palaeontology [ISSN 0081 0239] is Indexed/Abstracted in: Academic Search; Academic Search Alumni Edition; Academic Search Premier; ASFA: Aquatic Sciences & Fisheries Abstracts; Biological Abstracts; BIOSIS Previews; CSA Biological Sciences Database; Current Contents: Physical, Chemical & Earth Sciences; Ecological Abstracts; Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition; Oceanic Abstracts; Petroleum Abstracts; ProQuest Central; ProQuest Research Library; Research Alert; Science Citation Index; Science Citation Index Expanded; SCOPUS; VINITI (All-Russian Institute of Science & Technological Information); Zoological Record..

Supplementary data
Palaeontology - prices and availability

Journal Contents and Online Access:

The Association has made issues of the journal Palaeontology from volume 1 (1957) to volume 41 (1998) available to the palaeontological community, without restriction or charge, through our online portal.

Issues from volume 42 (1999) to the present time can be obtained though the Wiley Online Library portal. Members of the Association will have free access (see below) with articles available for purchase by non-members and non-subscribing institutions on an individual basis.

Receive alerts of all newly published articles in Palaeontology. This includes alerts of Early View articles as soon as they appear online, and the table of contents (e-TOC) whenever a new issue is published. Sign-up with Wiley e-Alerts. If you don't already have an account with Wiley Online Library, you will need to register first, then follow the link above again.

Member's Electronic Access

In order to access the Wiley hosted electronic copy of the journal included in your PalAss Membership you must first be loged in as a PalAss Member ( Once logged in you can use the links provided towards the bottom left of the Members' Dashboard (first page after login). The electronic version can also be access via our Palaeontology Backissues page, our Early View page or by searching the Wiley Online Library pages.

Created by Alan R.T. Spencer on the 2010-01-08. (Version 2.0)