Author Guidelines

Quick checklist

To make the submission process easier, we differentiate between initial and revised submissions. Initial submissions can be in any file format providing they adhere to the following requirements:

  • Single column, double line spaced, with page- and line-numbers.
  • The manuscript should contain: Title page with author information, Abstract, Keywords, Introduction, Material and Methods, Results, Discussion, Declarations, References, Figures and Tables with captions.
  • Journal of Avian Biology evaluate manuscript with double-blind peer review. Make sure that no author information is present in the manuscript file. You need to upload a sepcific title-page with title and author information which will not be included in the review process.
  • Make sure all references are complete and correct. Also make sure all references cited in the text are listed in the reference list and vice versa!
  • Check the PDF generated by S1M that equations and text and that all files are correct and complete before submission.
  • Statement of if and where you intend to archive your data.

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.


Initial submission

All manuscripts must be submitted at
You are welcome to submit your manuscript in any technical format. High-resolution files are not required for initial submission.

There are no page charges for publishing in Journal of Avian Biology.

You will receive a receipt with a manuscript ID. Please refer to this ID in all correspondence with the Editorial Office.

Revised submission

When submitting a revised manuscript, authors must provide publication-ready source files. The main manuscript file should be provided as word processor files (e.g., .doc, .docx, .odt, .rtf) with high resolution figures submitted as separate files. At this time, we require you follow carefully our instructions on formatting. Guidelines for submitting source files appear below. Only one manuscript text file should be submitted. The text file should include tables and figure legends. Figures and Appendices with supplementary material should be uploaded separately. You should also upload an additional file including track-changes as “additional file for review but not for publication”.


Manuscripts should be in British or American English. Be consistent throughout the manuscript. Linguistic usage should be correct. Avoid the use of the passive voice. Cite only essential sources of a theory or opinion. When possible, we encourage you to cite the original research rather than a review.


The title should be concise, informative and comprehensible to a broad scientific audience. Where possible, it should be a statement of the main result or conclusion presented in the manuscript. When formulating a title, you should bear in mind both human readers and search engines; including keywords in your title, for example, can help readers discover your article online. Do not include specialist abbreviations or authorities for taxonomic names in your title. The title should be brief and contain words useful for indexing and information retrieval. 


The first page should contain only the title and the author's name, ORCiD IDs (check carefully), address, and email-address. ORCiD id ( is mandatory for the corresponding author, and strongly recommended for additional authors. Page two contains the abstract, in which the main results of the work should be summarised. The abstract should contain less than 300 words. Begin the introduction on page three. Double-check the contents of your manuscript before submitting. Add page- and line-numbers to the text.


This includes acknowledging persons (authors or not) who have contributed to this paper. Here you can also state any monetary funding you have received or permits you have been granted. See example below.

  • Acknowledgements – Thanks to Joe Smith for help with the statistics and to Lisa Smith for drawing Figure 1.
  • Funding – This study was funded by The International Fund for Ecological Research, grant no. 00543.
  • Author contributions – The first and second author contributed equally to this paper.
  • Conflicts of interest – John Smith is employed by Ciba-Geigy.
  • Permit(s) – Permission to handle our study animals was given by the International Society of Mammalogists, no. 000010004. Landowners Patricia and John Smith have kindly given their permission to work on their land.


References must follow the style of the journal. Titles of journals should be abbreviated. Check previous issues of the journal. If in doubt, give the title in full. Do not refer to unpublished material or personal communications. Check that all references in the text are listed in the list of references and that all references listed are cited in the text.

In the main text
References should be listed chronologically: (Smith 1999, Dunn 2000, Nilsson et al. 2017). Do not use semi-colons as separators for the references.

Reference list

The list of references should be arranged alphabetically on authors' names and chronologically per author.
If the author's name is also mentioned with co-authors the following order should be used: publications of the single author, arranged chronologically - publications of the same author with one co-author, arranged chronologically – publications of the author with more than one co-author, arranged chronologically.
Publications by the same author(s) in the same year should be listed as 2004a, 2004b, etc.
All references must be complete, containing author names, year of publication, title, journal title using standard abbreviation, volume, first and last page numbers or article number. For references to in-press articles include a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number.
Reference lists not conforming to this format will be returned for revision.

In the list of references (double-spaced), the following usage should be conformed to:

Journal article
Haila, Y. and Järvinen, O. 1983. Land bird communities on a Finnish island: species impoverishment and abundance patterns. – Oikos 41: 255-273.

Atkinson, C. T. and Samuel, M. D. 2010. Avian malaria Plasmodium relictum in native Hawaiian forest birds: epizootiology and demographic impacts on apapane Himatione sanguinea. – J. Avian Biol. 41: 357–366.

Mayr, E. 1963. Animal species and evolution. – Harvard Univ. Press.

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



Tables and legends of illustrations should be written double-spaced on separate sheets. Do not incorporate the legend in the figure itself. Tables and illustration legends should be comprehensible without reference to the text. Do not use italic lettering.

Our preferred files are vector-images e.g. as: .eps or .pdf

Rasterised (pixelated) files are also welcome but have to follow the specifications below. Can be submitted as: .tif, .jpeg, .pdf and other formats.

All images (but vector-files) must be supplied at 300–600 dpi (print resolution), not 72 dpi (screen resolution). The 300–600 dpi resolution must be generated in the application used to create the image and at approximately the correct size. If your system cannot produce variable output resolutions, the image should be created at a larger size so that the effective resolution is increased when the image is scaled down by us.

Width: 8 cm (single-column), 12.5 cm (1.5 column) or 16.6 cm (double-column).

The quality of a low-resolution figure cannot be improved by simply increasing the resolution in graphics software. To improve the resolution of your figure, you must re-create the figure from the beginning.

Resolution below 300 dpi results in blurred, jagged or pixelated published figures.

The quality of your figures is only as good as the lowest-resolution element placed in them. If you created a 72 dpi line graph and placed it in a 300 dpi .tif, the graph will look blurred, jagged, or pixelated.

On figures, use only common sans-serif fonts, such as Geneva, Helvetica, or Arial. Letters, numbers and symbols must appear clearly but not oversized.

Be consistent throughout the figure with colours, line weights, and styles. Panels within the figure should be designated with lower case letters in parentheses (e.g. (a), (b), (c)...).

You cannot submit individual image-files with a size > 50MB

Colour figures are most welcome and will be published free of charge.


Supplementary material

Supplementary material: Supplementary material may be posted as electronic files on the journal's website.

Read important instructions on how we handle Supplementary material

Note: Supplementary material files will not be copy-edited and proofs will not be provided.



Use SI units as far as possible. 


Binomial Latin names should be used in accordance with International Rules of Nomenclature.

Our publication policies

Our detailed publication policies can be found in the NSO|OEO Editorial and Publishing policies file []. Our compiled policies cover various topics like conflict of interest, authorship, roles of editors, copyright and license policies.

We will follow recommendations by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)

Short summaries of our policies for key issues can be found below. Download the complete set of policies here:


Submitting a paper

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. Manuscripts submitted to NSO journals will be checked using anti-plagiarism software provided by iThenticate.

Manuscripts are submitted to reviewers for evaluation of their significance and soundness. Authors will generally be notified of acceptance, rejection, or need for revision within two months. Decisions of the editor are final. 


Statement on authorship

Manuscripts 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 to be avoided. All authors must agree on both the submission and full content of any article carrying their name. Any violation of these conditions may represents academic misconduct and will be dealt with accordingly. 


Corresponding author

Please make sure you have correctly selected the corresponding author, as it is stated on the manuscript. Note that an ORCiD ID is mandatory for corresponding author and strongly recommended for co-authors.

We accept one corresponding author only.


Conflicts of interests

At submission, you are requested to declare any conflict of interest.



Journal of Avian Biology assumes authors of a paper have acquired any permits needed planning and executing the study reported in the paper.

Permits given shall be listed under “Declarations”


Data policy/repositories

Data archiving and registration of sequences – Journal of Avian Biology requires authors to deposit the data (and/or mathematical models and codes) supporting the results in the paper in an appropriate publically accessible archive, such as e.g. Dryad (, TreeBase, figshare, that guarantees preservation as well as a permanent identifier of the data (such as e.g. DOI-number or Genbank accession number). The permanent identifier should be provided by the authors or the archive, after acceptance of the paper. Data should normally be made publicly available at the time of publication, but may be postponed for up to one year if the technology of the archive allows it. Longer embargoes may be granted in exceptional cases after correspondence with the Editorial Office.  Derived, summary data may also be archived. DNA sequences should be deposited in the EMBL/GenBank/DDJB Nucleotide Sequence Databases. An accession number for each sequence must be included in the manuscript. The Journal of Avian Biology submission system is integrated with Dryad and the journal will cover the Data Processing Charge if you decide to deposit your data there.

A list of suggested repositories can be found here:

How to cite data in a manuscript:

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

Data available from the Dryad Digital Repository:  Bergeron et al. 2017

In the References:

Bergeron JAC, Pinzon J, Odsen S, Bartels S, Ellen Macdonald S, Spence JR (2017) Data from: Ecosystem memory of wildfires affects resilience of boreal mixedwood biodiversity after retention harvest. Oikos  

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



If funding has been received for the study, it shall be listed under “Declaration” in the manuscript and have to be listed during the submission.



Manuscripts that have been posted in a recognized preprint archive (such as arXiv and PeerJ PrePrints), can be considered for publication, providing that upon acceptance of the article, the authors are still able to grant [journal] an exclusive license to publish the article, or agree to the terms of an OnlineOpen agreement and pay the associated fee.

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.