Publication of radiocarbon dates

Radiocarbon dates are far too often poorly published. If you need any help with interpretation or extra information for the publication of your dates please ask us. All dates must be published with;

  1. Laboratory code (SANU-)
  2. Conventional radiocarbon date and error (with the units BP)
  3. A description of the sample type, including genus or species if known.
  4. A description of exactly where the sample was taken from.
  5. A description of, or reference to, the laboratory protocols.
  6. Any associated quality assurance data. This is particularly important if the samples are >30 ka BP.
  7. A calibrated date (with the units cal BP, or cal BC/ cal AD).


We can calibrate radiocarbon dates if requested. However, it is important that all radiocarbon dates within a paper are calibrated against the same calibration curve (e.g. all terrestrial samples should now be calibrated against IntCal13 in the northern hemisphere or SHCal13 in the southern hemisphere). Therefore, we prefer to send you instructions on how to calibrate dates, so that you are able to ensure consistency throughout your publication.