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Publication Policies and Ethics

The Palaeontological Association’s journals, Palaeontology and Papers in Palaeontology, are members of COPE (the Committee on Publication Ethics) and follow the principles and recommendations of COPE.

Allegations of Research or Publication Misconduct

Any alleged research or publication misconduct, including plagiarism or fabrication or falsification of results, should be brought to the attention of the Editor in Chief in the first instance. Allegations will be investigated in accordance with COPE guidance, including allegations from whistleblowers. In the event that the Editor in Chief is thought to have a potential conflict of interest, allegations should be brought to the attention of the Executive Officer.

Where necessary retractions, corrections or expressions of concern will be issued in order to maintain the integrity of the publication record.


Complaints against the journal, its staff, editorial board or publisher should be addressed to the Publications Officer or the Editor in Chief. Complaints against these individuals should be addressed to the Executive Officer.

Authorship and contribution

All authors should have made a substantial contribution to the research from which a publication is derived (including conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, or drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content). They should have approved the final version to be published and agree to be accountable for the aspects of the work that they conducted. Individuals whose contributions do not meet these criteria should be credited in the contributions statement, but should not be listed as authors. Acquisition of funding, provision of facilities, or supervising the research group of authors without additional contribution are not usually sufficient justifications for authorship.

Contributions Statements should use the CASRAI CRediT – Contributor Roles Taxonomy. This allows authors to attribute credit explicitly for a range of contributions, including to individuals who are not authors. In planning research and recognising contribution and authorship, we strongly encourage investigators to recruit, and involve at all stages of the research and publication process, suitably qualified/experienced local researchers, especially where specimens, materials and/or data are from low-income or middle-income countries.

Conflicts of Interest

All authors, reviewers and editors must disclose any potential sources of conflict of interest. Any interest or relationship, financial or otherwise, that might be perceived as influencing objectivity is considered a potential source of conflict of interest. Potential sources of conflict of interest include but are not limited to:

  • patent or stock ownership.
  • employment by a private company or non-profit organisation
  • membership of a company or non-profit organisation board of directors.
  • membership of an advisory board or committee for a company or non-profit organisation.
  • consultancy for or receipt of speaker’s fees from a company or non-profit organisation.
  • having recently collaborated with, supervised or been mentored by any of the authors of the manuscript you have been asked to review or edit.
  • having a close personal relationship with any of the authors of a manuscript you have been asked to review or edit.

The existence of a conflict of interest does not preclude publication in Association journals. However, authors must declare any conflict of interest on submission and in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript.
If the authors have no conflict of interest to declare, they must also state this at submission. It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to review this policy with all authors and to collectively list in the online submission system and in the manuscript Acknowledgments section ALL pertinent commercial and other relationships.

Reviewers or editors, including Handling Editors and members of the Editorial Board, who have a conflict of interest they feel will make them unable to provide an unbiased assessment of a manuscript should decline to review/edit it. Reviewer conflicts of interest should be declared to the manuscript’s Handling Editor; Editor conflicts of interest should be declared to the Publications Officer.

Reporting and materials availability requirements

Details of palaeontological samples and specimens should include clear provenance information to ensure full transparency of the research methods. Samples should always be collected and exported in accordance with relevant permits and local laws, and in a responsible manner. Any submission detailing new material from protected sites should include information regarding the requisite permission obtained. Palaeontological and type specimens should be deposited in a recognised museum or collection to permit free access by other researchers in perpetuity.

Manuscripts will be rejected without review if authors are unable to demonstrate compliance with these requirements.

Data and reproducibility

Data are important products of the scientific enterprise, and they should be preserved and usable for decades in the future. The Palaeontological Association thus requires, as a condition of publication, that all data supporting the results in papers published in its journals are archived in an appropriate public archive offering access and guaranteed preservation. Our Instructions to Authors detail how this can be achieved.

Research Involving Animals

Researchers must have proper regard for conservation and animal welfare considerations. Any research using animals must adhere to institutional, national and/or international guidelines. Where appropriate and available, approval from the appropriate animal ethics committee should be obtained before work commences.