Author Guidelines

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Aims and Scope

Journal of Avian Biology publishes empirical and theoretical research in all areas of ornithology, with an emphasis on behavioural ecology, evolution and conservation. Preferably, papers should test hypotheses or explore new grounds. Purely descriptive studies are accepted only when they contain important information that give rise to novel questions and/or open up new grounds. Papers are published under five main headings:

Point-of-View are short papers (max 5 printed pages; about 4500 words) that are intended for discussion or comments on papers concerning recent issues. Authors are encouraged to be provocative and argue their own views on controversial issues. Point-of-View is also open for communication of new ideas and re-evaluations. An abstract is not required.


Reviews provide an opportunity to summarize existing knowledge within ornitholigcal research, especially within areas where rapid and significant advances are being made. An abstract is required. At the moment, review articles are available free for anyone to access and read.


Research Letters are short papers (max 5 printed pp; about 5 500 words), ideally presenting new and exciting results. Research letters will be given priority, whenever possible, in the publication queue. Contributions should be as concise as possible. An abstract is required.


Articles are normal full length papers, that make up the main part of each issue. Articles focus on empirical and theoretical research in all areas of ornithology, with an emphasis on ecology, behaviour, conservation and evolution. An abstract is required.


Communications are short contributions (max 5 printed pages; about 4500 words) that present biologically interesting findings within ornithology and notes on methodology and equipment. An abstract is required.


Author Guidelines

From March 2016, it is mandatory for the submitting author to provide an Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCiD) via our ScholarOne system. Co-authors and reviewers are strongly encouraged to also connect their ScholarOne accounts to ORCiD, but it is not mandatory. Registering for an ORCiD ID is free and only take a few minutes. See here for more information about ORCiD



Copyright and Preprint servers

Authors submitting a manuscript do so on the understanding that the work has not been published before, is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has been read and approved by all authors. The submission of the manuscript by the authors means that the authors agree to assign exclusive copyright to the journal should the manuscript be accepted for publication.

Posting an article on the author’s personal website or in an institutional repository is not viewed as prior publication and such articles can therefore be submitted. The articles published in this journal are protected by copyright, which covers translation rights and the exclusive right to reproduce and distribute all of the articles printed in the journal. Manuscripts that have been posted in a recognised preprint archive (such as arXiv and PeerJ PrePrints), can also be considered for publication, providing that upon acceptance of their article, the authors are still able to grant Journal of Avian Biology an exclusive licence to publish the article, or agree to the terms of an OnlineOpen agreement and pay the associated fee.

It is the authors‘ responsibility to inform Journal of Avian Biology at submission, about previous posting of the article. If the manuscript is accepted for publication in Journal of Avian Biology, the authors are required to provide a link to the final manuscript alongside the original preprint version.


Before review, all manuscripts are checked for plagiarism with the CrossCheck software by iThenticate to detect instances of overlapping and similar text. To find out more about iThenticate and CrossCheck visit

After submitting your manuscript you will receive an email receipt with a tracking number. Please refer to this number in all correspondence with the Editorial Office.


Data archiving and registration of sequences

Journal of Avian Biology strongly encourage authors to deposit data supporting the results in their paper in a publically accessible archive, such as e.g. Dryad (DataDryad.Org) and Movebank ( Derived, summary data may also be archived. Journal of Avian Biology have a colaboration with Dryad, allowing our authors to deposit their data free of charge. DNA sequences published in Journal of Avian Biology should be deposited in the EMBL/GenBank/DDJB Nucleotide Sequence Databases. An accession number for each sequence should be included in the manuscript. More information about data archiving can be found here.



Papers should conform to recommendations for authorship provided by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (the Vancouver Group; see That is, authorship of a paper carries with it responsibility as well as credit. All those whose names appear as authors should have played a significant role in designing or carrying out the research, writing the manuscript, or providing extensive guidance to the execution of the project. They should be able to present and defend the work in a public forum. Honorary authorship is not allowed. All authors must be in agreement on both the submission and full content of any article carrying their name. Any violation of these conditions represents academic misconduct and will be dealt with accordingly. 

More information about our publication policies and ethical guidelines can be found here:

Guidelines for manuscript preparation

Manuscripts should be written in English. All text, including tables, figure captions and reference list should be double-spaced, with line and page numbers. Manuscripts should follow The Chicago Manual of Style and The CBE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers.

Manuscripts can only be submitted online at: and should preferably be submitted as separate text and figure files. Preferred file formats for the main document, including tables and figure legends is .doc or .docx. PDF files are only accepted during the review process and a doc file is required should the manuscript be accepted. Preferred formats for figure files are: .eps .tif, .pdf or high-resolution .jpg.

Please avoid submitting LaTex files.



The title should be brief and contain words useful for indexing and information retrieval. Titles should NOT be written in capital letters. 


This should summarise the main results and conclusions of the paper. Should not exceed 300 words.


Please include a title page containing the title and the authors´ names, addresses and email addresses. Scientific species names should be given the first time the species is mentioned in the text. Use SI units as far as possible. Figures and tables should be referenced in the text.


Tables and legends of figures should be written double-spaced on separate pages. Do not incorporate the legend in the figure itself. Tables and illustrations should be comprehensible without reference to the text.

Please submit figures as separate TIFF files or non-rasterised EPS files if possible. JPG and PDF files are acceptable if they are of high resolution, make sure to zoom in to confirm this. Detailed information on digital illustration standards can be found at

Starting 2015 Journal of Avian Biology will be an online only journal. We are therefore happy to include any colour figures free of charge.


Tables should be included at the end of the manuscript on double-spaced, separate pages.


Please refer to a recent issue of Journal of Avian Biology when making the reference list. If a reference manager software is used, make sure to double-check the references and the reference list before you submit your manuscript. The reference list should be arranged alphabetically by authors' names then chronologically by author. If the first author's name is also mentioned with co-authors, then publications of the single author arranged chronologically should be given first, then publications of the same author with one co-author arranged chronologically. Publications by the same author(s) in the same year should be listed as 2014a, 2014b, etc. Do not refer to unpublished material.

Journal Articles:

Titles of journals should be abbreviated following Biological Abstracts.

In the text:
Guindre-Parker and Love (2014) or (Guindre-Parker and Love 2014).

In the reference list:

Guindre-Parker, S. and Love, O. P. 2014. Revisiting the condition-dependence of melanin-based plumage - J. Avian Biol. 45: 29-33.

If more than three authors, in the text:
Lehikoinen et al. (2014) or (Lehikoinen et al. 2014)


In the text:
Mayr (1963) or (Mayr 1963).

In the reference list:
Mayr, E. 1963. Animal species and evolution. - Harvard Univ. Press.

Book chapters: 

Goodall, D. W. 1972. Building and testing ecosystem models. - In: Jeffers, J. N. R. (ed.), Mathematical models in ecology. Blackwell, pp. 173-194.


Data should be cited both in the text and in the bibliography. When referencing data in the text put this as the last part of material and methods.

In the text:

Data available from the Dryad Digital Repository:[NNNN] (Heneghan et al. 2011) and from Movebank Data Repository: (Gehrold and Wikelski 2013).

In the Bibliography:

Heneghan C, Thompson M, Billingsley M, Cohen, D (2011) Data from: Medical-device recalls in the UK and the device-regulation process: retrospective review of safety notices and alerts. Dryad Digital Repository.


Gehrold A, Wikelski M (2013) Data from: Great flexibility in autumn movement patterns of European Gadwalls (Anas strepera). Movebank Data Repository.


If several data sources are used cite these as 2011a, 2011b etc.


Supplementary material

Supplementary material may be posted as electronic appendices on the journal's appendix site.

Supplementary material is not copyedited and must follow the guidelines given here.

Open Access

We offer our authors the possibility to publish their research Open Access via Wiley OnlineOpen. This option helps authors to spread their research to a wider audience by making their paper freely available for anyone to download and read immediately after publication. The current fee for OnlineOpen is $2000, but the fee can often be covered by your funder or institution.  Via Wiley we collaborate with many of the large funding bodies and institutions worldwide, e.g. RCUK and Max Planck. For a list of collaborators please click here.

Prior to acceptance there is no requirement to inform the Editorial Office that you intend to publish your paper OnlineOpen as all articles are treated in the same way during the peer-review process.

You can read more about Wiley OnlineOpen here.

Please contact the Editorial Office of you want to know more about publishing Open Access in Journal of Avian Biology.

After acceptance

Average time from acceptance to online publication is around 1.5 months. To speed up the production time, please make sure to submit your files in the correct format.

Authors will receive electronic proofs via email, together with the Exclusive License Form (ELF). The ELF can also be downloaded here.

Authors will be required to sign the ELF for all papers accepted for publication. Signature of the ELF is a condition of publication and papers will not be passed to production unless a signed form has been received. Please note that signature of the ELF does not affect ownership of copyright in the material. (US government employees need to complete the Author Warranty sections, although copyright in such cases does not need to be assigned). After publication, authors will retain the right to publish their paper in various media/circumstances (please see the form for further details).

No offprints will be supplied. Instead the corresponding authors will receive a PDF file to use at their discretion.

The articles published in this journal are protected by copyright, which covers translation rights and the exclusive right to reproduce and distribute all of the articles printed in the journal. No material published in the journal may be stored on microfilm or videocassettes or in electronic databases and the like or reproduced photographically without the prior written permission of the journal. More details can be found here.

OnlineOpen is available to authors who wish to make their article available to non-subscribers, or whose funding agency requires grantees to archive the final version of their article. With OnlineOpen, the author, the author's funding agency, or the author's institution pays a fee to ensure that the article is made available to non-subscribers upon publication via Wiley Online Library, as well as deposited in the funding agency's preferred archive. For the full list of terms and conditions, see here.

Any authors wishing to send their paper OnlineOpen will be required to complete the payment form available from Wiley at

Prior to acceptance there is no requirement to inform the Editorial Office that you intend to publish your paper OnlineOpen if you do not wish to. All OnlineOpen articles are treated in the same way as any other article prior to acceptance. They go through the journal's standard peer-review process and will be accepted or rejected based on their own merit.