Open Paleontology

Aims & Scope

Journal Aims

Decisions on manuscripts are based on the scientific rigor of the study and accuracy of results and not on interpretations of novelty or impact factor. Open Paleontology seeks to provide the following benefits to the field of paleontology:

  • To create an open access (OA) academic peer-reviewed community specifically focused on the paleontological sciences.
  • To foster and develop an ongoing collegial atmosphere that promotes diversity, accessibility, and inclusion of scientists from many life and career paths.
  • To remove barriers to both the publication of research and the access to that research, including burdens of cost.
  • To offer open review (with ability to opt out), with article-level metrics, speedy indexing, and author ownership of the copyright of their work.
  • To simplify the submission process to reduce the time cost of preparing manuscripts for review by moving most formatting steps to post-review pending acceptance.
  • Provide a venue that accepts research topics that often fall outside the scope of many journals today (e.g., long-form taxonomic descriptions, reports on new taxonomic occurrences, short morphological observations).
  • To create a mentorship program to train and develop the next generation of journal editors.
  • Journal Scope

    Submissions concerning any discipline within paleontology or concerning fossils and fossilization are within the journal’s scope, including (but not limited to) vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology, paleobotany, paleoecology, paleopalynology, micropaleontology, paleobiology, paleoichnology, taphonomy, biomechanics, biostratigraphy, and fossil preparation or conservation. Studies of modern organisms and processes may be considered if they have direct relevance to paleontological topics (such as archaeozoology, comparative anatomy and morphology of extant taxa, etc.).

    The following general types of manuscripts are within scope:

  • Short Communications, Rapid Communications, or Notes
  • Research Articles
  • Monographs (but see below for requirements)
  • Comments on articles published in Open Paleontology may be considered, provided that they provide substantive, verifiable, and testable relevant new information or discussion
  • The following manuscript types must be formally proposed and pre-approved by a member of the editorial board prior to submission:

  • Monographs (>600 lines in length)
  • Edited volumes
  • Memorial Volumes
  • Guidebooks
  • Conference Proceedings
  • The following content types are within scope:

  • Occurrence notes
  • Field reports detailing results of fieldwork
  • Taphonomic studies
  • Ichnological studies
  • Faunal/floral assemblage lists (voucher specimens must be cited)
  • Taxonomic revisions
  • Illustrated atlases
  • Morphological and comparative descriptions
  • Quantitative studies (e.g., phylogenetics, morphometrics)
  • Studies based on data collected from any geographic region or location is permissible
  • Compendia of data (e.g., measurements, specimen lists, etc.) that are not readily available elsewhere or provide substantive information not available via other venues
  • Geological research directly applicable to paleontology (e.g., descriptions of stratigraphic sections for fossiliferous beds; reporting of radiometric dates; correlation of fossiliferous units, etc.…)
  • Collection notes (transfers, digitization updates, deaccession notices)
  • The following are considered out of scope:

  • Unsolicited reviews of exhibits, books, commercial products, edited volumes, etc.
  • Unsolicited opinion pieces or review articles
  • Any article that does not have direct paleontological relevance
  • Regarding 1 and 2, authors are encouraged to contact the senior editor for prior permission to submit articles in these genres
  • If you have any questions about the suitability of a manuscript for Open Paleontology, please contact an Editorial Board member and ask for clarification prior to submission.