A Sneak Preview (publication #1?)

Hi all. It is about time for a post on what very well may be my first publication. First off, journal choices.

So with every publication, the author has to chose a few journals to submit the paper to, with an order. I’m quite fond of open access, so I would like my first paper to be published with it. So there is a list of journals to submit it to, PLOS journals, Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, PeerJ, and others. The above three are my preferential journals, but with them come some restrictions. PLOS journals are quite renowned for there cc license, large manuscripts and impressing figure sizes, but they also have multiple limitations. The first one is cost. PLOS charges about 300±100$ per paper, which is quite a lot for amateurs like me. This basically crosses it off my list. Act Pal Pol is similar, but I think it charges slightly less, but with limits on size. Now note, my paper is not planned to be lengthy, and based on what I have written I don’t think it will be. Act Pan Pol thus goes on my “maybe” list. Now for PeerJ. I have heard a lot of positive comments on PeerJ during its lifetime, and it is my favourite to publish this paper in. PeerJ also offers PrePrints, and for certain, I am going to submit this paper to them before any form of peer review. Now PeerJ is relatively new, but it publishes any paper for around 10$, assuming that the author publishes 9 papers with PeerJ in their lifetime. With this 99$ lifetime membership you get about one paper per year, as long as you review manuscripts for free. After my non-so critical evaluation of all the open access journals I’d like to publish in, PeerJ comes out top.

Yay, so PeerJ will get my paper submitted to them. Now onto the true publication. So I live in Canada, and there is one province I like the most, with a very unique fossil assemblage, British Columbia. Now B.C. has arguably the best known deposit in North America for any fossil enthusiast, the Burgess Shale. But there is one thing unfortunate about this shale, it is 300 million years to old. So no-one is going to find a dinosaur in those fabulous rocks. Within Canada, Alberta comes first for dinosaur skeletons, but British Columbia roughly ties it for most dinosaur fossils. You see, Alberta is very plentiful in skeletons, but only two or three footprints are known. While British Columbia is relatively rare in dinosaur skeletons, but is known from many, many trackways and footprints. Now these trackways were all reviewed in 2014, so a paper on them wouldn’t be very interesting. But what hasn’t been reviewed since 1983, are the dinosaur body fossils in the province. So this is what I decided to review. No more info, but one picture, of a single manual phalanx from a boring ornithopod, from Sampson & Currie, but shaded by me based on Mike’s fabulous GIMP tutorial.

Major Update: For all those who care, the above paper has now been accepted by PeerJ as a PrePrint, available here for all those who would like to view it. My article will now be going to PeerJ, as it is not within the scope, but I am currently submitting it to Palaeo Electronica, so I’ll see how that goes.


Sampson, S.D. & Currie, P.J. 1996. On the Trail of Cretaceous Dinosaurs. In Life in stone: a natural history of British Columbia’s fossils. Edited by R. Ludvigsen. UBC Press, Vancouver, B.C., pp. 143–155. ISBN:0-7748-0577-3.

Ornithopod phalanx


About ijreid

I am an amateur palaeontologist thats hobbies include studying extinct amniotes, specifically dinosaurs, birds, and mammals. Occasionally, I focus my time on detailed and accurate illustrations of dinosaurs, and I have completed drawings of Dysalotosaurus, Micropachycephalosaurus, Zhuchengtyrannus, Troodon, Eotyrannus, Europelta, and Achillobator. I do not believe in copyrights, and think that the world would be better if everything was open access.
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4 Responses to A Sneak Preview (publication #1?)

  1. Palaeontoloigca Electronica!
    all free, IF >2.0 (for those who care)


  2. Mike Taylor says:

    Acta Pal Pol does not charge. The downside is that it’s (rightly) become so popular that it’s now very slow — it can take literally years to get from submission to publication.

    PalArch’s journal of vertebrate palaeontology is another option. Matt and I published a paper there a couple of years ago.

    PE has an honourable history, but I lost interest in it when it rejected one of my papers (this one) for what I thought were spurious reasons. These days, I submit exclusively to journals that review for correctness only, and I would recommend that policy to anyone who doesn’t need to get into specific journals for career reasons.

    In short, the question for my papers these days is no longer “which journal shall I send this to?” but “Is there any reason not to send it to PeerJ?”


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