Journal cover Journal topic
Journal of Micropalaeontology An open-access journal of The Micropalaeontological Society
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IF value: 1.179
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IPP value: 1.23
SJR value: 0.491
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h5-index value: 10

Manuscript preparation guidelines for authors

The following sections provide guidelines on how to prepare and compose your manuscript. Please follow these standards to ensure a smooth peer-review and production process. When preparing your manuscript, please also refer to the manuscript-type-specific guidelines.

If you or your institute plans a press release or some other promotional work on your paper, please inform Media and Communications at Copernicus ( before. We may be able to assist you and help distribute your work further.

Technical instructions for LaTeX

Technical instructions for MS Word and compatible formats

Technical instructions for R Markdown

Manuscript composition

For the review process a *.pdf file of the complete manuscript is required following the standards for sectioning and structure (see below). Tables and figures as well as their captions should be included in the text. All pages must be numbered consecutively and line numbers must be included. Please note that only manuscripts submitted in portrait format will be considered for review. Single pages in landscape format are not acceptable.

  • Sectioning and structure:
    1. Title page
    2. Abstract
    3. Copyright statement (will be included by Copernicus)
    4. Introduction
    5. Sections
    6. Conclusions
    7. Code availability
    8. Data availability
    9. Sample availability
    10. Video supplement
    11. Appendices
    12. Supplement link (will be included by Copernicus)
    13. Team list
    14. Author contribution
    15. Competing interests
    16. Disclaimer
    17. Special issue statement (will be included by Copernicus)
    18. Acknowledgements
    19. References
  • Title page: Title (concise but informative), author first and last names, full institutional addresses of all authors, and correspondence email for proofs. Deceased co-authors should be marked accordingly, and an affiliation is not required.
  • Abstract: The abstract should be intelligible to the general reader without reference to the text. After a brief introduction of the topic, the summary recapitulates the key points of the article and mentions possible directions for prospective research. Reference citations should not be included in this section, unless urgently required, and abbreviations should not be included without explanations.
  • Sections: The headings of all sections, including introduction, results, discussions or summary must be numbered. Three levels of sectioning are allowed, e.g. 3, 3.1, and 3.1.1. The abbreviation "Sect." should be used when it appears in running text and should be followed by a number unless it comes at the beginning of a sentence.
  • Footnotes: These should be avoided, as they tend to disrupt the flow of the text. If absolutely necessary, they should be numbered consecutively. Footnotes to tables should be marked by lowercase letters.
  • Equations: They should be referred to by the abbreviation "Eq." and the respective number in parentheses, e.g. "Eq. (14)". However, when the reference comes at the beginning of a sentence, the unabbreviated word "Equation" should be used, e.g.: "Equation (14) is very important for the results; however, Eq. (15) makes it clear that..."
  • Reproduction and reuse of figures, maps, and tables: authors must secure the right to reproduce any material that has already been published or copyrighted elsewhere, and corresponding citations must be included in the text as well as in the captions. If distribution licences other than CC BY are applied, corresponding statements must be included in the captions. If applicable, maps from map providers such as Google Maps or OpenStreetMap used in manuscripts must include the required copyright and distribution licence statements of the map provider. Authors must adhere to the individual redistribution permissions. The copyright and distribution licences of such maps must be visible in the maps themselves.
  • Figure composition: It is important for the production process that separate figures are submitted. Composite figures containing multiple panels should be collected into one file before submission. The figures should be labelled correctly with Arabic numerals (e.g. fig01, fig02). They can be submitted in *.pdf, *.ps, *.eps, *.jpg, *.png, or *.tif format and should have a resolution of 300 dpi. The width should not be less than 8 cm. A legend should clarify all symbols used and should appear in the figure itself, rather than verbal explanations in the captions (e.g. "dashed line" or "open green circles").
    Tips for producing high-quality line graphics:
    1. The first choice should be vector graphics in *.eps or *.pdf format. Fonts must be embedded. Please make sure that the *.pdf files do not contain hidden objects. If you want to adjust fonts in your original figure file before converting into *.pdf, please make sure that you change the actual font of the original figure rather than adding text boxes or other additional layers.
    2. Please use only one font family in your figures (e.g. Arial or Times). Keep in mind that the usage of regular, italic, bold, and bold-italic of one font family already leads to four different fonts that must be embedded or adjusted by our image processors in case of text corrections within figures.
    3. If the processing of your vector figures requires an exceptional amount of time due to multiple fonts or hidden objects, we reserve the right to convert your *.eps or *.pdf figures into *.png files for the further production process.
    4. If the usage of vector graphics is not possible, a bitmap image should be saved in a "non-lossy" format (e.g. *.png). A high quality is recommended. It is always possible to reduce the size of the figure later.
    5. The *.jpg format should only be used for photos. It is not suitable for sharp edges. Note that it is not advisable to convert a *.jpg file back to *.png. If *.jpg files must be used please save them with high quality.
    6. If you are not able to fulfil the above-mentioned criteria, it is also possible to submit figures produced with Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign in the original file format. Our image processors will then produce the figures from these source files.
    7. For maps and charts, please keep colour blindness in mind and avoid the parallel usage of green and red. For a list of colour scales that are illegible to a significant number of readers, please visit ColorBrewer 2.0.
    The abbreviation "Fig." should be used when it appears in running text and should be followed by a number unless it comes at the beginning of a sentence, e.g.: "The results are depicted in Fig. 5. Figure 9 reveals that...".
  • Figure content guidelines: In order to facilitate consistency with our language and typesetting guidelines applied to the text of the manuscript, please keep the following in mind when producing your figures:
    1. Labels of panels must be included with brackets around letters being lower case (e.g. (a), (b), etc.).
    2. Ranges need an en dash and no spaces between start and end (e.g. 1–10, Jan–Feb).
    3. Coordinates need a degree sign and a space when naming the direction (e.g. 30° N, 25° E).
    4. Spaces must be included between number and unit (e.g. 1 %, 1 m).
    5. Units must be written exponentially (e.g. W m–2).
    6. Common abbreviations to be applied: hour as h (not hr), kilometre as km, metre as m.
    7. Capitalization: only the first word is capitalized in headers (in addition to proper nouns). More guidelines are provided in section English guidelines and house standards.
    8. Maps: please adhere to United Nations naming conventions for maps used in your manuscript. In order to depoliticize scientific articles, authors should avoid the drawing of borders or use of contested topographical names. The editors reserve the right to insert the label "under dispute" if contested borders are presented.
  • Figure captions: Each illustration should have a concise but descriptive caption. The abbreviations used in the figure must be defined, unless they are common abbreviations or have already been defined in the text. Figure captions should be included in the text file and not in the figure files.
  • File size: Authors are kindly asked to find the best balance between the quality of figures and submitted material on the one hand, and a manageable file size on the other hand. Individual figures in the *.pdf format should not exceed 2 MB, file types other than *.pdf should not exceed 5 MB per figure, and the overall size of all submitted files, excluding supplements, should not exceed 30 MB.
  • Plot data: Authors are encouraged to put the data needed to create the plots, which are included in the manuscript, in a supplement to the published article (see below). Then, reviewers and readers are able to reproduce the plots.
  • Tables: They should be numbered sequentially with Arabic numerals. For the production of the accepted manuscript, they should be submitted as MS WORD or included in the LaTeX file. Tables submitted as a PDF or an image file cannot be processed. Tables should be self-explanatory and include a concise, yet sufficiently descriptive caption. Horizontal lines should normally only appear above and below the table, and as a separator between the head and the main body of the table. Please note that the word "Table" is never abbreviated and should be capitalized when followed by a number (e.g. Table 4).
  • Analytical data in tables:
    1. If sample lists are being tabulated, give each a petrographic name and locality (include grid reference or longitude/latitude).
    2. If chemical analyses are being tabulated, give the oxides in standard order: SiO2, TiO2, Al2O3, Fe2O3, FeO, MnO, MgO, CaO, Na2O, K2O, P2O5, CO2, H2O+, H2O-.
    3. Use Fe2O3T or FeOT if total Fe is being quoted.
    4. Chemical analyses of rocks and minerals should not be recalculated to 100%. Original analytical figures should be quoted (check the summation for rounding errors). Ensure that the number of decimal places given is appropriate to the level of accuracy.
    5. Representative analyses are generally preferable to averages. Averages should carry standard deviations.
    6. Detailed guidance on the reporting of geochronometric data can be downloaded from the Geological Society of London.
  • Data sets: Authors are requested to follow our data policy including
    • the deposit of research data (i.e. the material necessary to validate the research findings) that correspond to journal articles in reliable FAIR-aligned data repositories that assign persistent identifiers (preferably digital object identifiers (DOIs)). Suitable repositories can be found at;
    • the proper citation of data sets in the text and the reference list (see section references) including the persistent identifier. For data sets hosted on GitHub, authors are kindly asked to issue a DOI through Zenodo and include this DOI in the reference list;
    • the inclusion of a statement on how their underlying research data can be accessed. This must be placed in the section "Data availability" at the end of the manuscript before the acknowledgements. If the data are not publicly accessible, a detailed explanation of why this is the case is required (e.g. applicable laws, university and research institution policies, funder terms, privacy, intellectual property and licensing agreements, and the ethical context of the research);
    • the provision of unrestricted access to all data and materials underlying reported findings for which ethical or legal constraints do not apply.
  • Software and model code: authors are encouraged to deposit software, algorithms, and model code in FAIR-aligned repositories/archives whenever possible. These research outputs are then cited in the manuscript using the received DOI and included in the reference list. The manuscript must then include a section entitled "Code availability" or, in the case of data and code, "Code and data availability".
  • Video supplements and video abstracts: authors are encouraged to upload videos associated with their manuscript to the TIB AV-Portal for archiving and DOI registration, facilitating proper citation of the videos in their manuscript. Please find more information in the dedicated section below.
  • Sample availability: if geoscientific samples which are registered as International Geo Sample Number (IGSN) have been used for the manuscript, authors are required to include the IGSN in the reference list, cite it in the article, and provide a statement on how to access the sample by adding a section "Sample availability" to the manuscript.
  • Appendices: These should be labelled with capital letters: Appendix A, Appendix B etc. Equations, figures and tables should be numbered as (A1), Fig. B5 or Table C6, respectively. Please keep in mind that appendices are part of the manuscript whereas supplements (see below) are published along with the manuscript.
  • Supplement:
    1. Authors have the opportunity to submit supplementary material with their manuscript, such as additional figures and tables, plot data, movies, animations, highly detailed and specific technical information, such as computer programme code, user manuals, maps, very large images, etc.
    2. The supplement shall contain only complementary information but no scientific interpretations or findings/messages that would go beyond the contents of the manuscript.
    3. Supplements will receive their own DOI (digital object identifier) and will be published online along with the article as *.zip archive or single *.pdf file.
    4. Supplements will receive a title page added during the publication process including title ("Supplement of"), authors, and the correspondence email. Therefore, please avoid providing this information in the supplement.
    5. Equations, figures and tables in supplements should be numbered as (S1), Fig. S5 or Table S6. Sections are numbered as S3, S3.1, and S3.1.1.
    6. The overall file size of a supplement is limited to 50 MB. Authors of larger supplements are kindly asked to submit their files to a reliable data repository and to insert a link in the manuscript. Ideally, this linkage is realized through DOIs.
  • Author contribution: Authors are required to add a section "Author contribution" before the acknowledgements in which the contributions of all co-authors are briefly described. Example: AA and BB designed the experiments and CC carried them out. DD developed the model code and performed the simulations. AA prepared the manuscript with contributions from all co-authors.
  • Competing interests: Declaration of all potential conflicts of interest is required by Copernicus Publications as this is an integral aspect of a transparent record of scientific work. Please see our competing interests policy.
    1. If there are no competing interests in their submitted manuscripts, authors should state: "The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest."
    2. If there are possible conflicts of interest, authors must state what competing interests are relevant to the submitted work: "Author A is a member of the editorial board of the journal. Author B has received research funding from Company Y. Author C is a member of committee Z."
  • Review criteria: While preparing their manuscript, authors are kindly requested to consider the manuscript review criteria to meet the quality standards and to reduce the peer-review processing time.

Taxonomic papers

Where relevant, the following order of subheadings should be adopted: Type species, Derivation of name, Diagnosis, Holotype, Paratype, Material, Locality and horizon, Age, Description, Dimensions, Stratigraphic range/occurrence, Remarks.

When associated taxa are discussed in the remarks, please include the author, year, and a referenced citation.

Authors are expected to be familiar with the latest versions of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature and International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi and plants as relevant.

All type, figured, and cited specimens should be accompanied with a museum catalogue number, and their full geological horizon and locality should be given. Authorities should be cited with a date and included in the reference list. Synonymy lists should be in the same style as above, and as those in recent Journal of Micropalaeontology papers. Open nomenclature should follow Matthews (1973, Palaeontology, 16, 713–719) and Bengston (1988, Palaeontology, 31, 223–227). A group of half-tone prints is referred to as a Figure not a Plate. Photographs of fossils should be lit from the upper left. All photographic figures should include a scale bar.

Type and figured material: Type material (holotype and paratypes or syntypes, etc.) and figured specimens must be deposited in an accessible permanent public collection and catalogue numbers should be provided in the figure captions.


Mathematical notation and terminology

English guidelines and house standards

The following aims to provide guidelines for authors on how to compose their manuscript with regards to conventions of English. Please note that the copy editor is responsible for applying these guidelines in addition to checking the grammar and punctuation of each manuscript (see English copy-editing services for more information). However, assistance from the author will expedite the production process.

  • Variety of English: We accept all standard varieties of English in order to retain the author’s voice. However, the variety should be consistent within each article. When using Oxford spellings, please do so consistently. For example, if "characterize" is spelled as such, then the -z- variant should be used for all such words throughout the article. The use (or lack thereof) of the Oxford (serial) comma should also be consistent. Authors will be prompted to select an English variety when they upload the final revised version of the manuscript. The copy editor will then ensure that the variety is consistent.
  • Spelling: We recommend consulting one of the following dictionaries: Oxford, Cambridge, Merriam-Webster, or Collins. Where appropriate, use the anglicized version of place names (e.g. Zurich, Rome, Munich). Names that have been transliterated into English often have numerous spelling variants. For geographical locations, we consult The Times Atlas of the World for the most commonly used spelling. Please ensure that foreign names have the appropriate diacritics (e.g. accents, umlauts). In accordance with IUPAC, it is our house standard to use the -f- spelling for sulfur (instead of sulphur) and related words for all varieties of English.
  • Abbreviations
    • Abbreviations should be avoided in the title, depending on the length and familiarity of abbreviation.
    • They need to be defined in the abstract and then again at the first instance in the rest of the text. In order to avoid ambiguity, abbreviations that could have numerous meanings must be defined (e.g. "GCM" could stand for "global climate model" or "general circulation model"). This generally does not apply to abbreviations that are better known than their written-out form (e.g. NASA, GPS, GIS, MODIS).
    • Units do not need to be defined.
    • Please note that most abbreviations in the plural are followed by the suffix –s (e.g. GCMs, RMSEs), although there are some exceptions (e.g. CCN, ECMWF).
    • Ma and Myr (also Ga, ka; Gyr, kyr): "Ma" stands for "mega-annum" and literally means millions of years ago, thus referring to a specific time/date in the past as measured from now. In contrast, "Myr" stands for millions of years and is used in reference to duration (CSE, p. 398; North American commission on stratigraphic nomenclature).
    • In addition, uncalibrated 14C dates can be presented in the form xx 14C ka BP and calibrated ones in the form xx cal ka BP.
  • Capitalization
    • Titles and headings follow sentence-style capitalization (i.e. first word and proper nouns only).
    • Proper nouns should be capitalized. A proper noun refers to a unique entity. If there is more than one of the item in question, it is probably not a proper noun and should not be capitalized. A capitalized abbreviation does not necessarily warrant the capitalization of the written-out form. For example "LAI" is capitalized, but "leaf area index" is not. Non-standard usage of capitalization is only acceptable for proper nouns (e.g. "SCanning Imaging Absorption spectroMeter for Atmospheric CHartographY" as the written-out form of "SCIAMACHY").
    • The capitalization of the term "earth" is disputed and based on subjective criteria. Please simply ensure that the capitalization (or lack thereof) is consistent.
    • Cardinal directions should only be capitalized when part of a proper noun (e.g. South Dakota, Northern Ireland, North America, but eastern France). If you are unsure, consult an atlas.
    • Capitalize generic geographic terms, such as "river", when they are part of a place name, but do not capitalize the generic term when it appears on its own, when it follows a capitalized generic term, or when it is in the plural (e.g. Mississippi River, Mississippi River basin, Mississippi and Missouri rivers).
    • Capitalize taxonomic ranks genus and higher.
    • "Early", "middle", and "late" are capitalized only when part of the formal name but lower-cased when used as modifiers of formal names (e.g. Early Jurassic, early Miocene, late Holocene). This applies to "upper", "middle", and "lower" as well. For more information, we recommend consulting the International Commission on Stratigraphy and Geological Society of America.
  • Italicization
    • Italic font may be used for emphasis, although this should be used sparingly (e.g. data were almost consistent).
    • Foreign words, phrases, and abbreviations that cannot be found in any English dictionary (this does not apply to proper nouns) are italicized. Common Latin phrases are not italicized (for example, et al., cf., e.g., a priori, in situ, bremsstrahlung, and eigenvalue).
    • Ship names are italic, but their prefixes are roman (e.g. RV Polarstern).
    • Genus and species names are italic; high-order taxonomic ranks are roman.
    • When mentioned in running text, the names of books, journals, pamphlets, magazines, and newspapers are italicized.
  • Numbers
    • For items other than units of time or measure, use words for cardinal numbers less than 10; use numerals for 10 and above (e.g. three flasks, seven trees, 6m, 9 days, 10 desks).
    • Spell out ordinals "first" to "ninth".
    • Use numerals with units and expressions when used in a scientific or mathematical sense (e.g. increased 2-fold, 1 standard deviation, 3 orders of magnitude, 2 times the height (but the beaker was rinsed two times), a factor of 3).
    • Spell out numbers when they begin a sentence or when the sentence cannot be reformulated.
    • For very large numbers, use a combination of numerals and words (e.g. 1 billion people).
    • Use all numerals in a series or range containing numbers 10 or greater (e.g. 5, 7, and 13 experiments) or in a parallel construction.
    • Use words for instances such as "tens of millennia" and "non-zero".
    • Spell out and hyphenate fractions in which the numerator and denominator are both less than 10 (e.g. two-thirds).
  • Hyphens
    • Do not use hyphens between an adverb ending in –ly and the word it is modifying (e.g. "statistically based results", not "statistically-based results").
    • Latin phrases should not be hyphenated (e.g. "in situ", not "in-situ").
    • It is our house standard not to hyphenate modifiers containing abbreviated units (e.g. "3-m stick" should be "3 m stick"). This also applies to the other side of the hyphenated term (e.g. "3 m long rope", not "3-m-long rope").
  • En dashes (–) are longer than hyphens (-) and serve numerous purposes. Please note that we use spaced en dashes for syntactic constructions, not em dashes (—). En dashes are used to indicate, among other things, relationships (e.g. ocean–atmosphere exchange), ranges (e.g. 12–20 months), and components of a mixture (e.g. dissolved in 5:1 glycerin–water). They are also used to link the names of two or more persons used as a modifier (e.g. Stefan–Boltzmann constant).
  • Quotes
    • Use double quotation marks in all instances, unless quotation marks are also required within material surrounded by double quotation marks.
    • In these intra-quotation-mark instances, single quotation marks are used. Please note that quoted material should be punctuated with quotation marks but not italicized.
    • In quotations from printed sources, the spelling, capitalization, and punctuation should normally follow the original.
    • Quotations can also be used to denote an unfamiliar or newly coined term or phrase. They may also be used to introduce a term but only once at the first instance.
    • It is our house standard to position commas and periods outside the end quotation marks.
    • The following titles should be surrounded by quotation marks in running text: journal articles, book chapters, and series titles (special issues).

Nomenclature and usage of terms

  • Stratigraphy: Authors should refer to the stratigraphic guides from the ICS ( and the GSL (A guide to stratigraphical procedure, Geological Society Professional Handbook). Note that ICS uses US English spellings, but TMS uses British English (palaeo, etc.)
    • Lithostratigraphical units: Fossils forming part of a lithostratigraphical unit name have a capital initial letter and are not italicized (e.g. Plenus Marls, Boueti Bed).
    • Biostratigraphy: Be especially careful over the nomenclature of biozones and their distinction from chronozones (see below). Fossil names forming part of a biostratigraphical unit name are italicized (e.g. Alsatites liasicus Biozone, or liasicus Biozone).
    • Chronostratigraphy: Only divisions with internationally agreed and ratified boundary stratotypes qualify as formal chronostratigraphical divisions. Units recognized as formally defined are listed periodically by the International Subcommission on Stratigraphy in Episodes. In chronozones, fossil species names have a capital initial letter and are not italicized (e.g. Herveyi Chronozone).
    • Formal and informal names and use of capital initial letters:
      • Capital initial letters are used for expression of time (Early, Mid-, or Late) only where reference to formally defined time divisions is made or intended; in all other instances, lower-case initial letters should be used. Expression of relative position within a chronostratigraphical unit (i.e. lower, middle, upper) may be formal or informal, depending on context. Formal usage requires capital initial letters. Usage of lower, middle, and upper in relation to lithostratigraphical units is generally informal.
      • Acceptable abbreviations are Gp (Group), Fm (Formation), Mbr (Member), Sst (Sandstone), Slst (Siltstone), Mdst (Mudstone), Sh (Shale), Congl (Conglomerate), and Lst (Limestone), but these should be spelled out in full on first use. Use of such abbreviations should be kept to a minimum in the text but can be used to full advantage in tables and diagrams.
      • Avoid the use of phrases such as end Carboniferous and top Cretaceous. It is better to use latest Carboniferous and uppermost Cretaceous, etc.
      • More information on stratigraphical terms and usage can be found on the ICS website.
  • Mineralogy
    • Mineral nomenclature should follow the recommendations of the International Mineralogical Association Commission on New Minerals Nomenclature and Classification, e.g. hematite, barite, analcime, and feldspar. Note the discreditation of sphene (now titanite), acmite (now aegirine), titanaugite, barkevikite, basaltic hornblende, chalcolite, idocrase, and hypersthene. More information can be found on the IMA-CNMNC website.
    • Standardization of names is absolute, but there is less agreement over standardization of abbreviations of mineral names. Kretz, 1983, Symbols for rock-forming minerals, American Mineralogist, 68, 277–279, is recommended.
  • Igneous rock nomenclature: Follow the IUGS recommendations of Le Maitre et al. (eds) 2002. Igneous Rocks: A Classification and Glossary of Terms. 2nd edn. Cambridge University Press.

Registration of names and other nomenclature acts

If authors describe taxa, the registration of any new names or other nomenclature acts in ZooBank (animals) or Mycobank (fungi) as appropriate is required prior to the online publication of the respective article. This registration is needed to comply with the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature and the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi and plants. The respective registration number and exact date of the registration have to be included in the article. For further information please visit the guidelines on the use of scientific names of animals for authors and editors, and fungi.

Author's response

Video supplements and video abstracts

Publications Copernicus