Reviewed by: Cheryl LaGuardia, Research Librarian, Widener Library, Harvard University
Fossil Record (FR) is currently published as an open access journal by Copernicus Publications; up until 2014 it was a subscription-based journal published by Wiley Online Library. The journal was founded in 1998 at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin. Fossil Record publishes original research and review papers in all areas of palaeontology, covering all taxonomic groups, including invertebrates, microfossils, plants, and vertebrates. The emphasis is on specimen-based research and the editors especially welcome studies “based on fossil material by applying analytical methods in the field of palaeobiology.” Fields covered in the journal include biodiversity, biogeochemistry, biomineralization, changes in taxonomic diversity and morphological disparity, Earth system sciences and global change, evolution and development, evolutionary (palaeo-)biology, phylogeny, and taxonomy. The journal is indexed by BIOSIS Previews, CAS, CLOCKSS, CNKI, DOAJ, EBSCO, Gale/Cengage, GeoRef, Google Scholar, J-Gate, Portico, ProQuest, Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus, World Public Library, and the Zoological Record.
The home page includes recent news about FR, as well as information about the journal (Editorial board, Subscribe to alerts, Peer review, For authors, For reviewers) and a link into Articles. There is also a search box to search articles by title, author, abstract, or full text. When you follow the link to articles you go to a last in, first out list of recent publications. From there you can click a tab to go into individual annual volumes. The four most recently published articles are: “A new species of Cyclotosaurus (Stereospondyli, Capitosauria) from the Late Triassic of Bielefeld, NW Germany, and the intrarelationships of the genus,” “Scale morphology and specialized dorsal scales of a new teleosteomorph fish from the Aptian of West Gondwana,” “New remarkable Late Jurassic teleosts from southern Germany: Ascalaboidae n. fam., its content, morphology, and phylogenetic relationships,” and “The westernmost occurrence of Gnathorhiza in the Triassic, with a discussion of the stratigraphic and palaeogeographic distribution of the genus.” When you bring up each of these rigorously researched articles, you get the full list of authors with affiliations, a fully-descriptive abstract, a complete bibliographic citation for the article, and links to download either the PDF or XML full text of the article. Figures, illustrations, and text are all startlingly clear and easy to read.
Fossil Record is an excellent, superbly-produced open access scholarly journal that all paleontologists will want to consult. This is the way research was meant to be communicated.