Notes for Authors

The BSPI Notes for Authors can be consulted online on this page or they can be downloaded in pdf format using the dedicated button below.

Authors are invited to check the current version of the Notes for Authors before submitting their manuscripts. 

Notes for Authors – December 2022


The Bollettino della Società Paleontologica Italiana (BSPI) is an international peer-reviewed journal that accepts original articles concerning all aspects of paleontology that have a broad scientific interest. Manuscripts are considered for publication on the understanding that they have not been submitted or published elsewhere and that all co-authors consent to the submission. Any materials submitted should be original to the authors, who declare that any required license, copyright, or permission has been obtained prior to submission. The copyright of articles published in the BSPI remains with the authors, who are entitled to disseminate them through personal or institutional repositories and websites.

The BSPI is committed to upholding scientific integrity and may use software to screen for plagiarism.

The Notes for Authors must be strictly followed. Prior to submission, authors should check articles recently published in the BSPI before submitting a manuscript. Disregard of the Notes for Authors may delay or prevent review and publication. All changes requested by the editors or the Editorial Board of the BSPI at various stages of manuscript processing (pre-review, review, proofs) should be carried out timely by the corresponding author on behalf and with the approval of all co-authors.

There is no publication fee for articles accepted in the BSPI, unless an article is over 30 printed pages or color printing is requested.

Authors may opt to publish their work under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license, thus making their articles freely available on the BSPI website ( as Gold Open Access. There is a fee for Gold Open Access CC BY articles (currently, for articles up to 30 pages, 300 for members of the Società Paleontologica Italiana, and 500 for non-members).


Submissions may be in the form of Articles or Review Articles (i.e., invited articles). Short Notes are not accepted anymore. From January 2023, manuscripts must be submitted in digital form only through the Scholastica website (

The text of the manuscript must be submitted as a .doc, .docx or .rtf file, using a 12-point type font with double spacing and margins of at least 2 cm on each side. Captions of tables, figures and plates must be placed at the end of the manuscript file. On no account must figures, plates, and tables be inserted directly within the text. Lines should be numbered continuously.

Manuscripts that are returned to the authors after review should be sent back as soon as possible, within a maximum of four weeks, otherwise they will be considered withdrawn.

Articles are usually published in order of acceptance.


Only manuscripts using consistently either American English or British English are accepted. Authors for whom English is a second language should have their manuscript professionally edited before submission. Submitted manuscripts containing numerous typographical, punctuation, grammar and language issues may lead to rejection at pre-review stage.

Please note that author affiliations, as well as museum or institutional names referred to in the text, must be kept in their original designation (i.e., not translated into English), but should be transliterated in case of non-Latin names.


The manuscript should be organized as follows:

a) title, as short and informative as possible; it should contain references to the taxonomic group, age and geographical area investigated;

b) abbreviated title (up to 60 characters, including spaces);

c) the complete names (without abbreviations) of all the authors of the article; a corresponding author must be indicated;

d) complete postal addresses of all authors, followed by their e-mail addresses;

e) a list of key words (as a rule, no more than six; if any new taxa are proposed, one of the key words should be ‘new taxa’; the key words should not be a mere repetition of words contained in the manuscript title);

f) an abstract, not exceeding 350 words within one paragraph, reporting concisely the results of the work, without bibliographic references, including all new systematic or stratigraphic names proposed in the manuscript.

The text must be clearly organized in chapters or sections preceded by a title (e.g., Introduction, Materials and Methods, Systematics, etc.). Use a maximum of three kinds of headings, hierarchically arranged in the following way:
  1. FIRST ORDER HEADINGS: capital letters, centered. The first sentence after the heading begins after a blank line.
  2. Second order headings: Italic, left margin. The first sentence after the heading begins on the following line.
  3. Third Order Headings – (to be used as little as possible) small capitals, left margin. Text following on the same line.
In a list of items within the text, each should be preceded by an Arabic numeral followed by a right round bracket, i.e., 1), or by an Arabic numeral followed by a full-stop, if each item starts at a new line.

Footnotes are not allowed.


All abbreviations and acronyms used in the text must be clearly explained the first time they appear.


For nomenclatural matters, manuscripts must conform to the relevant international nomenclatural codes. Authors are encouraged to include registration numbers from the Official Register of Zoological Nomenclature ( for new zoological names and nomenclatural acts introduced in their manuscripts.
The BSPI does not usually publish descriptions of known species. Synonyms (synonymic lists) should be reduced to the essentials and organized as in the following examples:

Conilithes antidiluvianus (Bruguière, 1792)
1792 Conus antidiluvianus Bruguière, p. 637, Pl. 347, fig. 6.
1997 Conus antidiluvianus Bruguière – Davoli, p. 75, Pl. 3, figs 1-5 (cum syn.).
2014 Conilithes antidiluvianus (Bruguière)Janssen et al., Fig. 15.

Miscellanea miscella (d’Archiac & Haime, 1853)
1853 Nummulites miscella d’Archiac & Haime, p. 345, Pl. 35, figs 4a-c.
1916 Siderolites miscella d’Archiac (sic) – Douvillé, p. 38, Pl. 15, figs 4, 5.

All works cited in the synonymic lists must be included in the References section. Species- and genus-group names must be in italics in the text. Suprageneric taxa must be written in small capitals in the Systematics section. Small capitals must also be used for the authors of each entry in the synonymic list.

In the text, author names and publication year are required after the first use of a species-group name (with citations included in the References section). This applies also to taxa mentioned in the main text even if not included in the Systematics section. Exceptions to this rule apply for tables with extensive species lists and in Supplementary Online Materials. New taxa must be indicated by the abbreviations n. sp., n. gen., n. subfam., n. fam., etc.

Italics is used only for genera and species, not for Latinisms or other purposes. Thus, wordings such as et al., sensu, etc. are not italicized in the text.


Lithostratigraphy and lithostratigraphic nomenclature must follow the International Stratigraphic Guide, 2nd Edition (Salvador, 1994), or national or international guidelines and rules.

Geochronologic, chronostratigraphic and biostratigraphic terms and their subdivisions must be capitalized only when they indicate formal units (e.g., Upper Cretaceous, Late Miocene, Lower Ordovician); lowercase must be used when referring to informal units (e.g., late Burdigalian, middle Eocene, basal Triassic). Chronostratigraphic (time-rocks) and geochronologic (time) units and their qualifiers should not be confused, e.g., “the lower Cenomanian limestone” vs. “the species originated in the early Cenomanian”. Authors should take care that Lower/lower and Upper/upper refer to the stratigraphic position (chronostratigraphy), whereas Early/early and Late/late refer to time (geochronology).

The reference for formal chronostratigraphic and geochronologic units is the International Chronostratigraphic Chart, published by the International Commission on Stratigraphy (

Biozones are named with an uppercase initial letter (e.g., P. siluricus Zone, G. margaritae Zone). The name of chronozones must be typed in the way they are not confused with biozones. The nomenclature suggested by either the 1st or the 2nd edition of the International Stratigraphic Guide (Hedberg, 1976; Salvador, 1994) is accepted (e.g., Siluricus Zone or Polygnathoides siluricus Chronozone).


The field location of the studied material has to be shown on informative location maps, when possible, adding the GPS coordinates.


Illustrated and type specimens must be deposited in a museum or other institutional collection. Museum acronyms should be given in the text, e.g., in the Materials and Methods section. Museum/Institution catalogue accession numbers should be given in figure captions and/or in the text.


Acknowledgements should be placed in a separate section before the reference list. The names of funding organizations or project grants should be written in full.


References should only include works that are cited in the text and have been published or accepted for publication. Each scientific name cited in the text must be accompanied by its author(s) and publication date the first time it is cited, and the work in which the scientific name is established must be included in the References section. The references must be written according to the rules and the style of the BSPI, with authors in alphabetical order with year of publication. Each author’s surname must be followed by the initial of his/her name; when there are multiple initials, no blank spaces are to be left in between. The reference title must be followed by the unabbreviated name of the journal, given in full in italics, the volume number, and the numbers of the first and last pages of the article. Issue number should be indicated (in brackets) after the volume number only in case of separate pagination for each issue of a volume. Do not indicate plates, tables and figures in the references.


Journal article:

Owens R.M. (2004). Late Ordovician and early Silurian Proetida (Trilobita) from north-western and central Europe. Palaeontology, 47: 557-578.

Pittau P., Cotza F. & Del Rio M. (2003). Early Silurian siliceous sponge spicule assemblages from the Sardinia Hercynian Chain (Italy). Bollettino della Società Paleontologica Italiana, 42: 225-239.

Serra-Kiel J., Hottinger L., Caus E., Drobne K., Ferràndez C., Jauhri A.K., Less G., Pavlovec R., Pignatti J., Samsó J.M., Schaub H., Sirel E., Strougo A., Tambareau Y., Tosquella J. & Zakrevskaya E. (1998). Larger foraminiferal biostratigraphy of the Tethyan Paleocene and Eocene. Bulletin de la Société géologique de France, 169: 281-299.

Journal article when the actual publication date differs from the date appearing on the title page of the serial:
Luperto Sinni E. (1999). Nummofallotia cenomana, nuova specie di foraminifero del Cenomaniano delle Murge (Puglia – Italia meridionale). Geologica Romana, 34 [1998]: 1-7.

Journal article using a non-Roman script:
Barsukov V.V. (1989). The Upper Miocene rock fishes (Scorpaenidae, Sebastinae) from California. Trudy Zoologicheskogo Instituta Akademii Nauk SSSR, 201: 73-109. [in Russian]

Chapter of volume:
Serpagli E. & Ferretti A. (1999). L’Europa durante il Paleozoico. In Pinna G. (ed.), Alle radici della Storia Naturale d’Europa – Seicento milioni di anni attraverso i grandi giacimenti paleontologici, Jaca Book: 17-20.

Article in volume:
Aiello G. & Szczechura J. (2004). Middle Miocene ostracods of the Fore-Carpathian Depression (Central Paratethys, southwestern Poland). In Gliozzi E. & Russo A. (eds), Proceedings of the 1st Meeting of the Italian Ostracodologists “In memory of Giuliano Ruggieri” Rimini, February 12-14, 2003. Bollettino della Società Paleontologica Italiana, 43: 11-70.

Volume (complete):
ICZN (1999). International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, 4th edition. xxix + 306 pp. The International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature, London.

Reading H.G., ed. (1986). Sedimentary Environments and Facies. 615 pp. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford.

Martin R.E. (1999). Taphonomy – A Process Approach. Cambridge Paleobiology Series, 4. 508 pp. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Electronic reference (URL):
Fricke R., Eschmeyer W.N. & Van der Laan R. (eds) (2020). Eschmeyer’s catalog of fishes: genera, species, references. (accessed 14.12.2022).

Citations within the text must indicate the name of the author(s), followed by a comma, the year of publication and, when necessary, the page referred to (e.g., Stanley, 1979, p. 169). In the quotations, as in the References, the last author’s name is preceded by an “&”. Within the text (not in the References), works by more than two authors are quoted with the name of the first author followed by “et al.” (not in italics). Multiple citations should be in order of publication date.

Examples of citations in the text:

(James & Wind, 1965)

(Steiner et al., 1993)

Gooday (1994) considered …

… elaborated by Berggren et al. (1995) …

(Hottinger, 1960, 1974, 1997; Hottinger & Drobne, 1988)

Reference list entries should be ordered by the surname of the first author of each work as follows:

– single author: order by surname of author and then chronologically;

– two authors: order by surname of first author, then surname of co-author, and then chronologically;

– three or more authors: order by surname of first author and then chronologically (do not consider the surname of the second author) as shown here:

Rage J.-C., Prasad G.V.R. & Bajpai S. (2004). Additional snakes from the uppermost Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) of India. Cretaceous Research, 25: 425-434.

Rage J.-C., Pickford M. & Senut B. (2013). Amphibians and squamates from the middle Eocene of Namibia, with comments on pre-Miocene anurans from Africa. Annales de Paléontologie, 99: 217-242.

Rage J.-C., Métais G., Bartolini A., Imdad A., Brohi I.A., Lashari R.A., Marivaux L., Merle D. & Solangi S.H. (2014). First report of the giant snake Gigantophis (Madtsoiidae) from the Paleocene of Pakistan: paleobiogeographic implications. Geobios, 47: 147-153.


Tables may be submitted as .xls, .xlsx, .doc, or .docx files, taking care that the final width fits with a single column or double column size. Tables in the text should be 81 mm wide (single column) or 171 mm (double column). Separation of decimal numbers is by dots, not commas. Captions of tables must be given in a separate section of the manuscript, after the References.


Figures and plates must be provided as greyscale or color images in .jpg, .tif, and .png formats with a resolution of 300 ppi at least. Color figures on the final .pdf are free of charge, but color figures on the printed version of the journal will be charged to the author(s). Illustrations must be of excellent quality. In all kinds of illustrations, no large empty spaces must be left, in order to use the space available as economically as possible.

All images must be provided with the exact size for printing: plates must be 171 x 245 mm, whilst figures in the text should be 81 mm wide (single column) or 171 mm (double column). Mid-width figures (126 mm wide) may be exceptionally accepted.

Figures in the manuscript text are to be quoted as Fig. or Figs, plates and figures in plates as Pl. (Pls) and Pl., fig. (Pls, figs), tables as Tab. (Tabs). References to plates and figures from other publications are lowercase (e.g., Schallreuter & Hinz-Schallreuter, 2011, pl. 3, figs 1-7).

In all plates, single photograms are indicated with Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3, …) and different views of the same specimen with Arabic numbers and lowercase letters (1a, 1b, 1c, …), while in the figures in the text, any details must be indicated using lowercase letters (a, b, c, …).

In all illustrations and figures, the labels of the photograms (for figures) or specimens (for plates) must be written uniformly in Arial Font, lowercase, point 12, regular.

Other writings and captions in figures/plates should have a size equal or smaller than 7 points.

The value of the scale bars should be reported in the figure/plate caption, and not on the figure itself.

Any corrections necessary due to disregard of the above rules must be made by the corresponding author.

Captions of plates and figures must be given at the end of the manuscript, after the References section. A brief title for each plate, describing the main content of the illustrations, must be provided (see published articles). The approximate position of each illustration may be indicated on the margin of the text.


The BSPI welcomes proposals for Thematic Issues, e.g., issues that may arise from meetings and congresses which focus on a specific area of paleontological research that has broad appeal and falls within the aims and scope of the journal. Publication fees may apply. Thematic Issue proposals by potential guest editors should be addressed to the Editorial Board of the BSPI at and include a provisional title of the issue, the Thematic Issue’s scope and a sound justification for dedicating an entire issue of the BSPI to the suggested topic. The research articles of a Thematic Issue must follow the Notes for Authors guidelines. Individual papers are peer-reviewed and published as soon as the complete issue of the journal becomes available.


BSPI Invited Papers are specifically requested contributions from recognized specialists in various aspects of paleontology. The full content of these papers will be available online in open access also to non-members of the Società Paleontologica Italiana.


Authors are welcome to submit any additional information (including data sets, tables, figures, animations and CT-scans) for online publication to support and enhance their articles. Within the text, supplementary material should be cited as Fig. S1, Tabs S1-S3, References S4, CT-scan S1, Supplementary Online Material 1 (SOM 1), etc. Electronic supplementary material should be submitted at the same time as the manuscript. Please supply for each item a concise caption describing the content of the file; all captions and references for supplementary material should be numbered and submitted in one text file. References that are only cited within the supplementary files must not be included in the main References section of the manuscript.


The corresponding author will receive a proof as a .pdf file, to be returned after correction to the Technical Editor within three days. Any delay in returning the corrections may imply that the article will be printed only with the Editor’s corrections.  Corresponding authors should check in particular whether:

a) illustrations and tables are in the correct order and with their relative captions;

b) enlargements indicated in the captions correspond to the real enlargement of the figures;

c) references to works cited as in press are up to date.

No contribution is required from the authors for articles up to a length of 30 printed pages. For articles of more than 30 pages, the contribution must be agreed with the Editorial Board.

For all published articles, the BSPI provides the corresponding author with a high definition .pdf file. For offprints and covers the corresponding author must contact the printing house directly, which will supply copies at cost price. Requests for offprints/reprints should be made by the corresponding author when the corrected proofs are returned.


Starting from January 2023, manuscripts must be submitted online to the Editorial Board of the BSPI through the Scholastica website (

Questions as to submission should be addressed to the following e-mail address:

The manuscript text file must be named with the name of the corresponding author (e.g., Owens_txt.doc). Similarly, the names of the illustration files must contain the name of the corresponding author, followed by the number of figures/plates/tables (e.g., OwensFig1.jpg; Owens_Fig_01.jpg; OwensPl1.tif, etc.).

In a cover letter, authors are required to suggest four qualified reviewers, along with an explanation of the scientific significance, novelty and research background of the submitted work. They may as well request the exclusion of specific reviewers; this option should be limited to serious issues of conflict of interest.

The copyright of articles published in the BSPI remains with the Authors, who are entitled to disseminate them through personal or institutional repositories and websites