Author guidelines

This page explains how to prepare your manuscript for submission to the Journal of Avian Biology, a Nordic Society Oikos publication. Before submitting, please make sure that your article fits within the journal’s aims and scope.


The Journal of Avian Biology is published by the Nordic Society Oikos (NSO). The NSO editorial and publishing policies regarding conflict of interest, authorship, roles of editors, copyright and licensing and open access conditions are compiled in the ethics and policies page. Please carefully read this information before submitting.

To make science more just, we ask our authors to declare whether the conduct of their study considers equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) when they submit their papers. An EDI statement for the NSO journals can be found here.

There are no charges for publishing in the NSO journals. However, all open access publications have article publication charges.

Papers submitted to NSO journals are evaluated using double-blind peer review. This has implications for manuscript formatting (see quick checklist below). Further information about double blind review can be found here.

The Journal of Avian Biology is participating in a pilot on Peer Review Transparency. During the submission process, authors will be asked if they consent to having the reviewer reports, the responses to the reviewers, and the editor’s decision letter linked from the published article to where they appear on Publons in the case that the article is accepted. Authors who do not wish to participate can opt-out from transparent Peer review.

Aims and scope

Journal of Avian Biology (JAB) is an international, society-owned journal for scientists engaged in all aspects of avian biology. The primary goal of the journal is to publish high-quality papers relevant to the central theme of avian biology and to foster communication among researchers in many disciplines with a common interest in the biology of birds.

JAB is an outlet for bird-related research from all parts of the globe. It focuses on work that is of general interest: for example, because the findings advance a specific field, or because they are intrinsically of wide interest to the global community of scientists working with birds. Research published in JAB can be theoretical or empirical, and there is a strong emphasis on studies that test hypotheses in ecology, evolution and behaviour. The journal does not publish purely descriptive papers unless they contain important information that results in novel questions and/or opens up new areas for investigation.

Article types

Research Articles are normal full length papers, that make up the main part of each issue (no word limit). Articles focus on empirical and theoretical research in all areas of avian biology, with an emphasis on ecology, evolution and behaviour. 

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

Reviews provide a comprehensive and insightful overview of a particular field or aspect of avian research (no word limit). They should go beyond a summary of the literature and aim to combine different concepts or views into a coherent whole. They should discuss current research gaps and be forward-looking. Reviews can incorporate meta-analyses. 

Mini-Reviews are shorter than standard reviews (about 6000 words) and can be used to highlight a sub-topic within a broader research area. They provide a succinct and clear summary of the research topic and give readers a quick overview of the most recent and significant advances. Mini-reviews can be submitted at any time, but the Journal of Avian Biology also has an annual call for mini-reviews as part of the 'JAB Review Award for early career researchers'.

Viewpoint Articles 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. Viewpoint articles can also present new ideas and re-evaluate concepts and hypotheses. An abstract is not required.

Formatting your manuscript – INITIAL SUBMISSION

To make the submission process easier, we differentiate between initial and revised submissions.

All manuscripts must be submitted through the ScholarOne submission system. For initial submissions, we do not require journal-specific formatting and manuscripts can be submitted in any file format. LaTeX users do not have to translate their manuscripts into MSWord, but may upload them as PDF files. Please read the information below regarding formatting of initial submissions and the different parts of the manuscript.


Quick checklist for initial submissions

  • Submit the manuscript in separate files: title page file, blinded main text file and supporting information (optional).
  • The title page file should contain: title, author list and affiliations.
  • The main text file should contain: abstract, keywords, introduction, material and methods, results, discussion, references, figures and tables with captions. Make sure that no author information is present in the main text file, since we are using double-blind peer review. Format the main text as single column, double line spaced text with page- and line-numbers.
  • Figure files may be uploaded as separate files or as part of the main text file.
  • The supporting information file(s) should contain important, ancillary information, which is relevant to the main article. It may comprise additional tables, data sets, figures, movie files, audio clips, 3D structures, and other related nonessential multimedia files.
  • In the PDF generated by the ScholarOne submission system, check that equations, text and all files are correct and complete before submission.
  • If your manuscript relies on data and/or custom written code (simulations, non-standard statistical analyses), prepare your data and code so that it can be uploaded already at first submission, or archive it prior to submission, so that reviewers and editors can evaluate your work and confirm that the dataset is complete and useful. 


For the initial submission please also have the following statements and information ready: Significance statement, Data archiving statement, Conflict of interest statement, Ethics statement (if applicable), Funding statement (if applicable) and Acknowledgements (if applicable). A short description of each statement can be found below.

Note that all NSO journals mandate CRediT (Contribution Roles Taxonomy), where the contributions of each author to the manuscript, is indicated. For initial submissions CRediT information is not required, but in revised submissions it must be provided. The CRediT statement is automatically generated for accepted manuscripts and replaces any author contribution section provided in the manuscript file.

For corrections to the authorship, please refer to the NSO publishing policies.

The corresponding author must provide an ORCID ID at the time of submission by entering it in the user profile of the ScholarOne submission system. We strongly encourage that also co-authors link their ORCiD IDs to their profiles in the ScholarOne system.

When the submission is complete, you will receive a confirmation email with a manuscript ID. Please refer to this ID in all correspondence with the Editorial Office.


Format and style
File format                     Submit the manuscript file in DOC, DOCX, RTF, ODT or PDF format.                                              Your file should not be locked or protected.

                                       If you have written your manuscript in LaTeX, please submit a PDF                                                 version that can be used for reviewing.

Length                           Depending on article type, manuscripts may be limited in length and                                             be subject to restrictions on word count and number of figures.                                                     Please check the article type section for more information. In general,                                           we encourage you to present and discuss your findings concisely.

Headings                       Limit manuscript sections and sub-sections to 3 heading levels. Make                                           sure headinglevels are clearly indicated in the manuscript text.

Layout and spacing      The main manuscript text should be single-column, double-spaced.

Page/line numbers       Include page numbers and line numbers in the manuscript file. Use                                               continuous line numbers (do not restart the numbering on each page).

Footnotes                     Footnotes are not permitted. If your manuscript contains footnotes,                                              move the information into the main text or the reference list, depending                                        on the content.

Language                     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.

Nomenclature              Use the correct and established nomenclature wherever possible.

                                      Units                             Use SI units as far as possible.

                                      Species names            Write in italics (e.g., Poecile palustris). Write                                                                                        out in full the genus and species at the first                                                                                        mention of an organism in a paper. After first                                                                                    mention, the first letter of the genus name                                                                                        followed by the full species name may be used                                                                                (e.g., P. palustris). Authors should follow                                                                                              the International Code of Zoological                                                                                                    Nomenclature.

Citations                     Cite only essential sources of a theory or opinion. We encourage you to                                        cite the original research rather than a review.


Parts of the submission

Title page file
In the title page file include the title, authors and their affiliations.

  • Title: 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.
  • Author list and affiliation: during initial submission, enter author names on the title page file of the manuscript. You will also add author details to the submission system. Write author names in the following order: first name, middle name (or initials, if used), last name (surname, family name).


Main text file
The first page should contain the title and the abstract (if required for the article category). The abstract should summarise the main results of the work. It should contain no more than 300 words and should not contain references or unexplained abbreviations or acronyms. Begin the introduction on page two. Use headings to split the main text into different sections (usually introduction, material and methods, results and discussion, references, but other headings and sub-headings can be used if they suit your article). Abbreviations should be written out in full on first use. Avoid right margin justification and hyphenation. Add continuous page- and line-numbers to the text.


Illustrations and tables
At initial submission, figures, photographs and drawings can be provided within the manuscript or as separate files. For revised manuscripts, illustrations should be uploaded as separate files. The file size limit is 50 MB. Larger files (for example higher resolution) can be provided after acceptance.

All figures and tables should be numbered and referred to in the text by their number. Figure and table captions should be provided within the manuscript, and should be brief and informative, and include any relevant copyright information if taken from a published source.


Supporting information (optional)
Supplementary material, i.e. images, tables, data or source code that are not part of the manuscript, can be uploaded and published as supporting information on the journal website. This material will not be edited, but published as received. Keep in mind that you have to upload the data you used for your study to a public repository such as e.g. Dryad ( Read more about this on the ethics and policies page.

A '.docx' template for the Supporting information can be found here. Please note the following:

  • There is no cost for publishing supporting information.
  • Supporting information will not be edited, checked or controlled at all by the journal.
  • Refer to the supporting information as “Supporting information” in the main text of the manuscript.
  • Do not refer to subsections or specific details in the supporting information file(s). Any reference of that kind will be removed.
  • Submit supporting information as separate file(s) and not as part of the main text.
  • The number of references included in the supporting information should be kept to an absolute minimum as these are not recognised by many indexing services.
  • Maximum file size for a supporting information file is 50 MB. Authors with supporting information files of a larger size (in particular, movies) should contact the journal managing editor for further assistance.
  • When submitting a revised manuscript, you must provide a final version of the supporting information. You will not be able to change/add/update or delete the supporting information once your manuscript has been accepted.


Significance statement 
Authors must provide a statement outlining why the Journal of Avian Biology is the best outlet for publication. This should include a description of why the submitted work makes a significant contribution to the research field(s) that fall within the scope of the journal and why it is of general interest to the readership. Authors must provide a clear statement of how the manuscript builds on previous work both by themselves or your coauthors cited in this manuscript and other published work.


Data archiving statement 
For articles published in the Journal of Avian Biology, it is required that authors deposit data supporting their accepted papers in public archives of their choice (see section on Data sharing and repositories below). Authors must confirm that they deposit their data in a public repository and indicate the repository of their choice.


Conflict of interest statement 
The Journal of Avian Biology requires that all authors disclose any potential sources of conflict of interest. Any interest or relationship, financial or otherwise, that might be perceived as influencing an author’s objectivity is considered a potential source of conflict of interest. For more information, please read our ethics and policies page.


Ethics statement 
Please provide an ethics statement with relevant fieldwork details (approvals, licences, permissions) to be included in the published article. The details of any museum specimens used (e.g. the specimen numbers and the institutions holding these) must be provided either in the manuscript or the supplementary files. For more information about preparing this section please visit our ethics and policies page.


Funding statement 
If applicable, please provide a ‘funding statement’ that can be included in the published article. List the sources of funding for each author. Here you may also list service providers that did provide facilities or equipment.


Those who contributed to the work but do not meet our authorship criteria may be listed in the Acknowledgements. Authors are responsible for ensuring that anyone named in the acknowledgements agrees to be named.


If you are submitting a revised manuscript, you must provide publication-ready source files. We require that your manuscript meets our formatting guidelines prior to acceptance. Additional instructions for submitting source files appear below. Upload a main text file including track-changes (choose 'revised manuscript with track changes' from the drop down list in the submission system). You may also upload an additional 'clean version' without track-changes, as a main text file.


Additional formatting for revised submissions

Reference format                     References can be in any format, but must be complete. See                                                        reference formatting examples and additional instructions below.

 Illustrations                              The preferred file formats are vector-images, EPS, TIFF or PDF.                                                      Rasterised (pixelated) files are ok as long as the specifications                                                        below are followed.

                                                  Width: 945 (single column), 1476 (1.5 column) or 1961 (double                                                          column) pixels (at 300 dpi). Resolution: 300-600 dpi. Size: <50                                                      MB (for exceptions on file size, see below).

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

Read the full details of the formatting requirements in the below sections on this page.


Reference formatting
► Because all references will be linked electronically to the papers they cite, it is important references are complete. Before you submit your manuscript 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-text citations
References should be listed chronologically: (Smith 1999, Dunn 2000, Nilsson et al. 2017). Publications by the same author(s) in the same year should be listed as 2004a, 2004b, etc. Do not use reference numbering in revised submissions.

Reference list
The reference list can be in any format provided that it is complete and references are listed alphabetically on authors' names and chronologically per author. Please list all author names of an article; do not abbreviate with et al.

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. For references such as theses, software packages and repository data files see the table below.

Source                                  Format

Masters/PhD theses            Nilsson, J. F. 2009. Causes and consequences of individual                                                           variation in energy turnover rates. – PhD thesis, Lund University,                                                    Sweden.

Software packages              Simpkins, C., Hanss, S., Hesselbarth, M., Spangenberg, M.                                                              and Salecker, J. 2021. spectre: predict regional community                                                              composition. – <>.

Repository data files            Bergeron, J. A. C., Pinzon, J., Odsen, S., Bartels, S.                                                                            Mcdonald, S. E. and Spence, J. R. 2017. Data from: Ecosystem                                                        memory of wildfires affects resilience of boreal mixedwood                                                            biodiversity after retention harvest. – Dryad Digital                                                                          Repository, < >.

Reference lists not conforming to these requirements will be returned for revision.


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. 

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)...).

The ScholarOne submission system does not accept individual image file > 50 MB. However, larger files (e.g. high-resolution photographs of plant specimens) can be provided after acceptance. Please contact the managing editor (ecography[at] for instructions.

Colour figures are most welcome and will be published free of charge. However, we urge all authors to create figures that are accessible for all types of colour vision. When creating a figure use the following set of simple rules: 1) use a colour-blind safe palette (e.g. avoid using red and green together), 2) use high contrast, 3) in fluorescent red-green images, replace red with magenta, 4) check your figure using one of the many free tools that allow you to see how it looks for the colour blind, 5) consider alternative ways that do not rely on colour to visualize your data. For example, you might want to use monochromatic figures, or different shapes, positions and line types instead. You can make use of R-script colour palettes and Python colour blindness palettes. More information about how to make figures that are colour blindness friendly can be found here.

Data and code sharing

Journal of Avian Biology requires that authors provide all data and metadata, custom written code (simulations and non-standard statistical analyses), and bespoke software necessary for fully replicating the analyses in the study at the first submission stage. This will allow reviewers and editors to fully evaluate your work and confirm that the provided code and data is complete and supports your conclusions (data and code do not need to be public at this stage). If your manuscript does not contain any original data (e.g. viewpoint articles, reviews), please state ‘The content of this manuscript does not build on an original dataset’ in the submission system.

If data and code is archived in a repository prior to submission, authors should ensure that their identity is concealed during the review process (e.g. by using the private-for-review option in the Dryad repository). If authors do not want to archive their data prior to submission (e.g., because the intended archive does not allow anonymous archiving), data and code can be uploaded directly as Supporting information in the submission system (zip files for large files).  

If your dataset contains sensitive information (e.g. location data related to threatened species), the first step is to try to anonymise the data, allowing for the analysis to be run without identifying e.g. sensitive locations. Best practice on how to do this can be found here. If you for some reason are unable to provide the data at the submission stage, please indicate this in the relevant section in the submission system or contact the editorial office (email to editorial office) before submission. 

Once the manuscript is accepted, data and code must be made publicly accessible in a suitable repository and should be citable with a persistent identifier such as e.g. a doi (digital object identifier). As an author of a paper in Journal of Avian Biology, you can deposit your data in the Dryad Digital Repository free of charge. More information about the minimum standards for data and code can be found on our NSO publishing policy page.

Licence to publish and open access

All authors are required to grant the NSO a license to publish. Please read the NSO publishing policies before submission.

All articles accepted and published in the Journal of Avian Biology are fully open access and published under CC-BY licence: immediately freely available to read, download and share. To cover the cost of publishing, the NSO charges an article publication fee (= APC). There are no submission charges. The current APC for JAB can be found here

Our publisher, Wiley, has Open Access agreements with many countries, and researchers affiliated with universities and other research organizations in these countries may publish in JAB with no direct cost (a list over current Open Access agreements can be found here). Through the partnership between Wiley and research4life, authors based in low- and lower middle-income countries can request waivers and discounts (a list over countries covered by the research4life partnership can be found here). In addition, JAB offers a limited number of internal waivers for authors not covered by any agreement or the research4life partnership (for more information about how to request internal waivers click here).

Manuscript referrals

Editors of the NSO sister journals Oikos and Ecography have the option to offer the author a transfer to the Journal of Avian Biology. If your manuscript is recommended for transfer to the Journal of Avian Biology, you can opt for automatic referral. Your manuscript, along with any related reviews, will be transferred for consideration by the editorial team. NSO journals also participate in the Journal Transfer Networks provided by the publisher Wiley. Journal editors may recommend your manuscript to a more suitable Wiley journal via an expedited referral process.

Transfers are offered to facilitate rapid publication of good quality research that is unable to be accepted by the original journal. Manuscripts of authors who opt for a referral will be automatically transferred, along with any related reviews, for consideration by the editorial team of the receiving journal.

Post acceptance information

Production process

The decision to accept your manuscript for publication will be communicated by the EiC through email.

Manuscripts are edited to improve communication between author and reader. Electronic page proofs are sent to the corresponding author, showing the final layout of the article as it will appear in the published version. Proofs should be read carefully for typesetter's errors and the accuracy of author affiliations, tables, references, mathematical expressions, etc. No major alterations to content can be made at this stage.

Since all NSO journals aim to publish as rapidly as possible after acceptance, only a few days may be available for checking proofs. More time for proof-checking can be requested if authors are unavailable (e.g. field work, sick leave etc) and are unable to make alternative arrangements for their proofs to be checked quickly. Publication of an article will be delayed if proofs are not returned by the given deadline.

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


License agreement

If a paper is accepted for publication, the author identified as the formal corresponding author will receive an email prompting them to log in to Author Services, where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be required to complete a copyright license agreement on behalf of all authors of the paper. Publication of an article will be delayed if the license agreement is not completed by the given deadline.


Promoting your paper on social media

The Journal of Avian Biology is active on several social media channels and encourages authors of accepted papers to make contributions to blogs, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in form of photos, infographics, a popular summary of the study and/or a short video. When sending material for cover or social media promotion, please make sure that the copy right is clear, i.e. either if you took the picture yourself or if you have permission from the photographer.

We encourage you to contribute to Twitter/Facebook, please send an email to the Managing Editor with a short text and a few pictures of for e.g. your study organism, from the field or a good image from your paper. You are welcome to submit infographics. All these will help to promote your paper. Tag us (Twitter: @AvianBiology and Facebook: AvianBiology) and we’ll share it! You can also provide a tweetable abstract and twitter handle in the ScholarOne submission

Blog posts
We encourage you to write a blog post, please send an email to the Managing Editor with popular scientific text along with some nice pictures of e.g. your study organism, or from the field or a good image from your paper, or any other relevant image that will attract attention to your paper. Please see examples here.

Blog posts are shared on both Twitter and Facebook.

The cover of each issue of the Journal of Avian Biology has a photo or figure associated with one of the papers in that issue. We are therefore looking for color photos associated with your study, either your study organism or field site. Please also note that the cover photo must be sharp and of sufficient resolution (300 dpi at a full journal page).