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Paleontology is the study of past life in the context of the biosphere. The history of life is documented by a rich fossil record that provides not only a unique, deep time perspective to living organisms that inhabit our planet today, but also a first-hand test of hypotheses generated by biological and earth sciences. Paleontology is the study not only of fossils, but also of what these indicators of past life can tell us about evolution, about ecologies of the past, even our place and those of other organisms in the world. Thus, over the last two centuries paleontology has grown from a discovery and observational science into a highly interpretative discipline.
As a highly interdisciplinary science, paleontology integrates various disciplines, including biology, geology, chemistry, physics - even anthropology and computer science - as we try to decipher the fragments of past life that is available for research. All aspects of paleontological research are welcome in this journal: from the study of vertebrates to trace fossils, from plants, pollen and spores to communities and ecosystems, from the study of processes of decay to the formation of fossils.
Although we welcome submissions that are fairly parochial in focus and of interest to a limited segment of the paleontological community, we are particularly interested in receiving submissions that would be of interest to earth scientists, biologists, and possibly even the general public. Our only criterion is excellence of research and potential for long term impact. As an electronic, online journal, we are not bound as tightly as print journals by the length of the manuscript, or the number and quality of the scientific illustrations.
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PMCID: coming soon for all published articles
Paleontology welcomes submissions of the following article types: Brief Research Report, Correction, Data Report, Editorial, Hypothesis and Theory, Methods, Mini Review, Opinion, Original Research, Perspective, Policy and Practice Reviews, Protocols, Review and Technology Report.
All manuscripts must be submitted directly to the section Paleontology, where they are peer-reviewed by the Associate and Review Editors of the specialty section.
Articles published in the section Paleontology will benefit from the Frontiers impact and tiering system after online publication. Authors of published original research with the highest impact, as judged democratically by the readers, will be invited by the Chief Editor to write a Frontiers Focused Review - a tier-climbing article. This is referred to as "democratic tiering". The author selection is based on article impact analytics of original research published in all Frontiers specialty journals and sections. Focused Reviews are centered on the original discovery, place it into a broader context, and aim to address the wider community across all of Ecology and Evolution and Earth Science.