The Palaeontographical Society

Notes for Authors - v2 (2008)

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The contents of this document.


  1. The Society's publications
  2. The scope of monographs
  3. Submission of monographs
  4. Copyright
  5. Matter to be included


  1. Typescript
    1. Title
    2. Abstract
    3. Contents
    4. Acknowledgements
    5. Museum abbreviations
    6. Headings
    7. Footnotes
    8. Names of places and localities
    9. Numbers and dimensions
    10. Contractions and Abbreviations
    11. Cross-references
    12. Spelling and Style
    13. Stratigraphy
    14. Nomenclature and taxonomic names
    15. References
    16. Systematic descriptions
    17. Terms and classification
    18. Index
    19. Author's name and address
    20. Critical comments
  2. Illustrations
    1. Plates
    2. Plate explanations
    3. Text-figures
    4. Tables
  3. Proofs
  4. Separates
  5. Financial aid for publication


  1. The Society's Publications

    The Palaeontographical Society exists to publish monographs of British fossils. Monographs may be published either as complete works, or as parts in a series of annual volumes.Throughout a century and a half the Society has aimed at and secured the highest standards of taxonomic treatment, presentation and illustration. These standards the Society is determined to maintain.

    Authors must study these notes and follow their guidance in preparing their manuscripts. Any problems should be brought forward at an early stage for discussion with the editors. Many questions can be resolved by studying the style of recent monographs but these notes supersede previous practice.

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  2. The Scope of Monographs

    The fossil group monographed can be circumscribed stratigraphically, and/or taxonomically: in either case full treatment is essential. The Society favours monographs covering all the British material of a particular taxon. Where the author chooses to restrict the subject stratigraphically, two points especially should be borne in mind. Firstly, in any consequent geographical restriction of the work, particular care should be taken to ensure that the work complements and does not duplicate other similar monographic works: there should be clear evidence that the author is familiar with material from the same stratigraphical horizon in other areas of Britain. Secondly, the stratigraphy should be treated as background to the palaeontology. Stratigraphy limited monographs are not to be confused with well-illustrated accounts of the stratigraphy of an area. Comparative non-British material should be discussed in the text as necessary; but the editors must be consulted about the illustration of such material.

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  3. Submission of Monographs

    Authors intending to write a monograph for publication by the Society should initially submit to the editors (David Loydell and Beris Cox: and, for consideration by the Council of the Society, a proposed title, together with a brief statement of the scope of the work, the approximate number of taxa and estimate of the number of typescript pages, plates and text-figures, including the proportion to be devoted to non-British material. Council will decide whether to accept the work in principle.

    Once the title has been accepted, authors should prepare their monograph following the notes below (if the monograph is a new title) or conform to the style of previous parts (if the submission is to be part of an ongoing monograph). Two hard copies of all materials should be submitted, with illustrations at publication size, together with all files on CD(s).

    The Editors’ addresses are:

    Dr David K. Loydell
    School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
    University of Portsmouth
    Burnaby Road
    PO1 3QL


    Dr Beris Cox
    151 Browns Lane
    Stanton-on-the Wolds
    NG12 5BN

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  4. Copyright

    The copyright of monographs published by the Palaeontological Society is normally assigned to the Society by completion of a copyright form.

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  5. Matters to be included

    Monographs should include:

    1. Title
    2. Abstract with French, German and Russian translations (on separate sheet)
    3. Contents (for one-part monographs or concluding parts)
    4. Introduction and acknowledgements
    5. Museum abbreviations
    6. History of research
    7. Stratigraphy
    8. Localities
    9. Morphology, terminology, techniques, measurements
    10. Systematic descriptions
    11. Faunal and stratigraphical conclusions (if appropriate)
    12. References
    13. Author's name and address (for one parts monographs or concluding parts)
    14. Index (for one part monographs or concluding parts)
    15. Descriptions of text-figures, tables and plates

Detailed Guidence

Above all, the detailed consistency of style, spelling and arrangement of the typescript is a matter to which authors should attend. Typescripts which do not meet the standards of consistency of the Society's publications will be promptly returned for revision.

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  1. Typescript

    The typescript should be produced on good quality paper of International A4 size (297 mm x 210 mm), double spaced throughout (including references, plate and figure explanations, etc.) and with wide margins at both sides. At least 30 mm are required on the left side for press-marking by the editor. Two copies of the whole typescript are required. Number the pages consecutively at the top right-hand corner. Keep the typescript well spaced-out, as this makes it much easier to revise, correct and press-mark. Authors are responsible for the accuracy of their text and should carefully check all details such as references, cross-references, plate explanations and citations, and synonymies.

    With the text, submit the originals of all illustrations plus photocopies of all text-figures, tables and plates at the final size of reproduction. Authors will be required to provide the final version of the text, plates, text-figures and tables on a CD or DVD.

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    1. Title

      This should be as short as possible, identifying the fossil group and, if necessary, the geographical and stratigraphical limits of the work. Avoid using brackets.

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    2. Abstract

      Give a brief abstract of about 100 words, to include the main outlines of the work, the number of genera and species described and particularly the number of new taxa. New taxa may be named. Please also supply accurate French, German and Russian translations of the absatract. If this is not possible, please contact the editor handerling your monograph. An overall abstract will be printed with the final part of multi-part monographs.

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    3. Contents

      This list will include primary headings only, and in the systematic section generally will be restricted to generic or higher taxonomic level. Contents will be printed for monographs which are complete in a single part and with the final part of multi-part monograph.

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    4. Acknowledgements

      Keep these as short as possible, e.g. write "I thank" not "I would like to thank". Where it is appropriate to thank the curators of museum collections for loaning material in their care, information required in section 5 (below) may be included here.

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    5. Museum abbreviations

      These should be listed separately in alphabetical order of the abbreviation. Foreign institutions should be given their correct title (not translated).

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    6. Headings

      Three orders of heading are normally used in the non-systematic part of the text:

      1. Primary - centred capitals
      2. Secondary - Shoulder headings (full out to side of text on separate line: to be printed in capital and small capitals)
      3. Tertiary - inset side headings (in italic capitals and lower case; for clarity the next word should not be a fossil name or other word to be set in italic).

      In systematic descriptions (see Section 1p, p. 8) the subgenus and higher taxonomic headings are in centred capitals. Generic and specific name headings are shoulder headings, full out in bold capitals and lower case. Subheadings in the systematic section are inset, in italic capitals and lower case, followed by a full stop. When possible, avopid following the subheading with italics.

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    7. Footnotes

      These should be avoided.

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    8. Names of places and localities

      Use the spelling on current editions of Ordnance Survey maps and refer to a county or district at first mention. It is helpful to show principal localities and place names on a map. These, and all other localities should be located by means of a National Grid Reference (eight-figure wherever possible). If used, bearings should be in degrees from north. Put a scale and north arrow on all maps. You are responsible for the accuracy of your locality information.

      Foreign place names in languages which use the Latin alphabet should be as officially recognised in the country of origin. For languages with non-Latin alphabets, names must be transliterated using up-to-date British Standards.

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    9. Numbers and dimensions

      Numbers up to and including ten should be spelt out in the text, except where a range of characters or specific dimensions is given, eg 6-8 tubercles (not 6 to 8); thecae number 5 in 10 mm; a 2 m thick bed. Large numbers should be in figures.

      Use metric units. If original measurements were made in Imperial units, however, conversion figures may be added in parentheses in the text. A double scale with both types of units may be added to maps and sections.The following abbreviations of measures of length are used without a full stop: mm, m, ft, yd; plurals are not used. Circa should be c. (italic); mile(s) should not be abbreviated.

      All fractions are written out (one quarter, three fifths); use 57% (not per cent); figs 1a, b (not figs 1a-b; but do use 1a-c, 1a-d etc); spell out first, ninth, etc.

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    10. Contractions and abbreviations

      The general rule is that abbreviations are followed by a full stop but contractions are not. Hence: pl.; fig.; tr.; loc.; e.g.; aff.; but pls; figs; Dr; locs; etc. However, points of the compass are used without full stops (e.g. N, WSW) as are the various measures of length listed in the preceding section.

      Use capital letters for Pls and Text-figs for references to your own monograph, but lower case for other publications.

      Use double quotes for direct quotations, but single for unorthodox words or usages (e.g. 'gingerbread rock'; 'the Dudley insect').

      Use italics for non, pars, sic, nom. nud., s.s. Circa should be c.

      Do not use hyphens in words such as subquadrate, semicircular, coeval.

      Do not use raise decimal points: use 1.5, not 1·5.

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    11. Cross-references

      References to pages elsewhere in the monograph are to be avaoided since they must be inserted in page proof: 'above' or 'below' may be adequate. Ideally, direct the reader to the relevent paragraph/section by stating, e.g. 'See Remarks for Monograptus priodon'.

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    12. Spelling and style

      Generally accepted spelling and style should be used; consistency is important. Use -ize endings.

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    13. Stratigraphy

      Authors should follow the general principles set out in the International statigraphical guide, second edition (Salvador, A. ed. 1994). Any deviations from these reports should be explained.

      Make adequate but brief reference to the stratigraphical units used in the systematic section. Use text-figures to illustrate complex stratigraphy and stratigraphical correlation.

      Formal terms such as System, Series and Biozone should have initial capital letter in both singular and plural forms. For stratigraphical units which contain a taxonomic name, quote generic and specific name at first mention. The generic name be abbreviated or omitted thereafter, if no confusion arises.

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    14. Nomenclature and taxonomic names

      The mandatory provisions of the current editions of the International code of zoological nomenclature and the International code of botanical nomenclature must be followed.

      Give the generic name in full at the first mention of the species, and subsequently abbreviate this to the initial capital letter (followed by a full stop) unless confusion is likely The authorship of generic and specific names should be given at least once in a monograph, usually at the first mention. In the case of authors with the same surname, give the initials (e.g. J. Sowerby; J. de C. Sowerby); where initials and surname are identical give a distinguishing forename (e.g. Derek J. Siveter; David J. Siveter). Use the ampersand (&) in the case of joint authorship.

      Use the following (not in italics) with fossil names: gen. nov.; sp.; sp. nov.; cf.; ex gr.; etc.

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    15. References

      For one-part monographs, include a complete (including authors of taxonomic names, works cited in synonymy lists etc.) list of references immediately before the index. Include in the references all works cited in generic and specific names, in synonymies and in the main text. In the first part of a multi-part monograph give only the references for that part. These will be printed on pages with Roman numeral pagination. With the final part, a complete list will be published and the earlier bibliographies may be discarded before binding.

      Notes on References

      Carefully check all references. Incorrect entries are not only inconvenient to the user of the monograph, but also cast doubt on the general accuracy of the work. Take the reference from the original publication wherever possible; otherwise give the source, thus: [fide Sherborn 1932]. Authors should also take particular care in formatting their references, to save much intricate correction at a later stage

      1. Journal titles should be given in full.
      2. When citing a second and subsequent papers by an author, use a short ruled line instead of the author's name.
      3. If two or more of an author's papers are listed for one year they should be in chronological order and distinguished by a lower case letter following the date - 1995a, 1995b (in one-part monographs), or in multiple-part monographs 1995, 1995a, 1995b etc.
      4. Give the exact title but, for works in English, capitalize proper nouns only. Capitals should, however, be used appropriately in those languages which capitalize common nouns. Translate only those titles in non-Latin alphabets. In these cases enclose both the title and a note of the original language in square brackets, e.g. [In Russian].
      5. Ibid. should be used if consecutive journal tiles are identical.
      6. Give the numbers of plates, preceded by pl. or pls for those publications in which the plates are consecutively numbered; for those in which the plates are separately numbered for each paper, the reference should read 4 pls, not pls 1-4.
      7. Abbreviate series, decade, volume and part to ser. dec. vol. and pt; these may be used in references in which one of a number of numbers may be that of the volume. Alternatively, brackets may be used, and the volume number set in bold.
      8. Places of publication should be quoted in the modern English form; older non-English forms may be given in brackets.
      9. Papers quoted as being in press must have been accepted for publication, and details must be supplied to the editors as soon as they are available.
      10. Unpublished theses should not be referred to unless it is essential. The reference for such a thesis will be enclosed in square brackets.
      11. References in the text are cited thus: Cox 1993; (Cox 1993); Cox (1993, p. 20); (Cox 1993, p. 20); (Cox 1993, p. 22, pl. 1, figs 2, 3); (Cox 1993, p. 23, pl. 3, fig. 7, pl. 4, figs 7-9); (Cox 1962, 1994; Smith & Wood 1970).
    16. Example of Reference List

      BULMAN, O. M. B. 1929. The genotypes of the genera of the graptolites. Annals and magazine of natural History, London, (10), 4, 169-85.

      ____ 1955. In MOORE, R. C. (Ed.). Treatise on invertebrate palaeontology. Part V. Graptolithinia, with sections on Enteropneusta and Pterobranchia. xvii+101 pp. Geological Society of America and University of Kansas Press.


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    17. Systematic descriptions

      The style of this section must follow that of the examples given below. Again, authors should check format details closely to save themselves much unnecessary work later. That part of the systematic section which precedes the description of a species should be especially well spaced out to facilitate press marking. Use tabs when typing synonymy list to ensure alignment of dates and the begining of the text in synonymy entries

      Example of Systematic Description

      Class APODIA Wurms, 1887

      Subclass BATHYRABBA Oaff, 1977

      Order PIPERSCONOIDA Bore, 1890

      Family RHYMIIDAE O'Leary & Yang, 1863

      Genus POLYPUTTA Grimm & Grimmer, 1920

      Type species. By subsequent designation of Grimethorpe 1964, p. 108; Nasticreechia climbupya Melville, 1882; originally described from the Charsui Formation, Guizhou Province, People's Republic of China.

      Other species. P. alba (Black, 1848); P. ketalon Sewsey, 1968; P. longispina (Cowper, 1946).

      Diagnosis. Convex Rhymiidae with ....

      Polyputta ketalon Sewsey, 1968 Pl. 7, figs 1-7, Pl. 8, figs 3, 6, 13-15, 17

      v.1847 Abra sp.; Pargeter, p. 41, pl. 4, fig. 1 [Wearisome Formation (Fantasian), East Grinstead].

      . 1850 Rhymia alba Black; Gren, p. 56, pl. 34, figs 6a-c.

      1899 Rhymia alba; Pewsey, p. 4 [listed].

      v non 1910 Rhymia alba Black; Bindweed, p. 278, pl. 45, figs 7-13 [=Polyputta


      v.1929a Polyputta alba? (Black); Tyresomb (pars), p. 111,

      1944 Polyputa (sic) alba; Smythe, p. 7 [discusses distribution].

      v.1955 Polyputta alba (Black); Smythe, p. 24, pl. 19, figs 3, 7 only [Black Rab Formation, Clackhuddersfax]; non figs 4-6 = P. nigra (White).

      v*1968 Polyputta ketalon, Sewsey, p. 2, pl. 1, figs 1-19 [full synonymy].

      .1978 Polyputta ketalon Sewsey; Brew, p. 55, pl. 4, fig. 1.

      Type material. Holotype, SM Y99999, Pl. 1, figs 2, 3, specimen lacking posterior knurl; figured Sewsey 1968, pl. 1, figs 1-5; from the Black Rab Formation, Llareggub, Gwynedd (PX 1354 7864). Paratypes, SM Y99990-8, fragmentary tests from the horizon and locality as the holotype.

      Material, localities and horizons. BGS GSM11111-29, BU 6855, 6865. The species is only known from the the type horizon. Collected at locs 26, 30-35, 45.

      Diagnosis. Species of Polyputta with 12 pairs of ....

      Description. Intersegmental convioles parabolic, ....

      Remarks. Notwithstanding the ....

      Genus SABULONIA Dither & Trembles, 1877b

      (= Gerroffia Constable, 1890 [non Sergent, 1815];

      Paragerroffia Constable, 1890; Turbatrix Boudica, 1970)

      Type species. By original designation; Uhelpus chousi Ferrett, 1851, p. 88, pl. 16, figs, 1a, 1b; from the Blandian of the White Forest district, Polonia.

      Other species. S. pinguicula sp. nov.

      Diagnosis. Anterior shelf serrate....

      Sabulonia pinguicula sp. nov. Pl. 3, fig. 4, Pl. 4, figs 1-2; Text-fig. 5

      Name. Latin 'pinguicula' - somewhat fat, referring to the outline.

      Holotype. BM Xe56487, Pl. 3, fig. 4, complete external mould of dorsal shield; from limestone nodule in shale band in Nonsuch Formation, exposed in old quarry tramway, 550 m 135° from Erewhon Post Office (MP 6743 9875), Rutland.

      Paratypes. From horizon and locality of the holotype: BM Xe56479-502, dorsal shields; Xe56503-9, ventral scutes; Xe56510-24 lateral pinnules. From locality 34: BGS GSM T54321, ventral scute. From 'Ballymatoich, Co Dunghrubeagh' (probably I.G.R. T 274 684): NMI 1990.G8.8117, ventral scute.

      Diagnosis. Species of Sabulonia with ....

      Distribution. Abroad, the species is known from the Adhoc Formation (Grubstakian) of Wyoming (Schrubsole 1981, p. 11).


      Notes on systematic descriptions
      1. Do not underline the specific heading, which is printed in bold type.
      2. The synonymy should describe the history of nomenclature of the taxon; suitably annotated, much discussion can be avoided. To this end, Richter Symbols may be used, as in the imaginary example above (see Matthews, S. C. (1973), Palaeontology, 16, (4), 717-9). Also note the value of appending locality, stratigraphial and museum information etc. in square brackets after an entry (see Kelly’s monograph 1984, 1992).
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    19. Terms and classification

      Where possible follow the Treatise on invertebrate paleontology. Any innovations should be defined in the introductory text, preferably with recourse to a text-figure in the case of morphological terms

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    20. Index

      As a work of reference, a monograph requires an index which should be of maximum possible use to the user. Although the provision of a comprehensive index is encouraged, a purely systematic index will be considered by the editors.

      Comprehensive index. This will contain all localities and horizons, as well as taxonomic names. Generic and specific names (italic) should be entered in both the 'Aus, bus' and 'bus, Aus' forms. Invalid names may be given in square brackets. Page references will be repeated in both entries; text-figures should be listed. Pages on which descriptions commence are set in bold type. Plate references are given at the end of the entry following a semicolon.

      Systematic index. This will contain only generic and specific names (italic) entered in both 'Aus, bus' and 'bus, Aus' forms.

      For both types of index, all generic and specific names should be entered, including those from synonymy entries and in Remarks and Discussion sections.

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    21. Author's name and address

      This is given at the end of the work, immediately before the index. Use capitals and lower case.

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    22. Critical comments

      Avoid personal attacks when criticiszing other work. Disagreements with the scientific findings of another author should always be indicated courteously, without implying an lack of professional competence, and worded in a carefully balanced way. Disparaging remarks may be libellous, and even if true, should be avoided.

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  2. Illustrations

    1. Plates and half-tone blocks

      The maximum area of illustration is 180 mm x 230 mm; make the fullest use of this space. Large numbers of stereo-pairs will not normally be accepted.

      Prepare digital images at 600 dpi. Submit figures as .psd files, .esp files or as Tiffs on CD/DVD. Submit also high-quality print-outs of all plates and half-tone text-figures at publication sizes. Please lable diagrams in a vector programme such as Adobe Illustrator.

      Avoid large areas of full black or white. Add figure numbers (on plates) and letters (lower case on text-figures) in Arial 9 point font size.

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    2. Plate explanations

      Type the explanations of plates on separate sheets and include them at the end of the manuscript. Study the layouts which have been used in recent monographs and use a style appropriate to your material, if necessary after consultation with the editors.The maximum amount of information should be included for each figure on a plate; some of this may be grouped conveniently as centred headings, under which several figures may be listed.

      Note that there is no full stop after the figure number(s) in the left hand column of plate descriptions.

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    3. Text-figures (line illustrations)

      The maximum printed size of a text-figure is 215 mm x 158 mm: folding text-figures and tables will not normally be considered. Vary large figures should be drafted to occupy two facing pages. In drafting text-figures aim to use the full width of the page, for example by arranging text-figures side by side. Lettering should be clear. The smallest letters should be at least 1 mm in height. Submit line illustration text-figures at 1200 dpi on a CD/DVD. Submit also high-quality print-outs of all text-figures.

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    4. Tables

      Tables should generally be type-set and included in the run of the typescript; clear alignment and adequate spacing of the original is necessary. As folding tables are unacceptable, consider using two facing pages for large tables.

      Explanations of all text-figures and tables should be brought together at the end of the manuscript and followed by an explanation of the plates.

      The positions that text-figures and numbered tables should occupy in the text should be marked in the right-hand margin of the manuscript.

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  3. Proofs

    One set of proofs will be received by the author. These must be returned as quickly as possible. Restrict your proof corrections to mistakes and printing errors. Attempts to rewrite sections of the monograph after receiving proofs will not be accepted. The cost of excessive alterations to proofs will be charged to the author.

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  4. Separates

    The author or authors receive 25 free copies: a further 50 copies may be ordered at any time, at a discount of 75% of the current price.

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  5. Financial Aid for Publication

    Authors are asked to seek funds to aid the publication of their work, either from their own institution or from grant-giving organisations. Acceptance of papers will not be dependent on such grants, but any funds raised will help the Society's publication programme.

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