Policies

Open Access Policy

This journal provides open access to all of its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. Such access is associated with increased readership and increased citation of an author’s work.

See below for additional policy information.

About the Association of Field Ornithologists

The Association of Field Ornithologists (AFO) is one of the world’s major societies of professional and amateur ornithologists dedicated to the scientific study and dissemination of information about birds in their natural habitats. Founded in 1922 as the New England Bird Banding Association, AFO shortly thereafter became the Northeastern Bird-Banding Association. This origin promoted an emphasis on bird banding and field techniques, always with field studies as a focus. Field studies continue to be a focus and, with new techniques in molecular ecology, bioacoustics technology, and behavioral ecology now available, field studies of birds are approaching ever new questions. AFO encourages the participation of amateurs in research and emphasizes conservation biology of birds. For more information or to become a member, visit the Association of Field Ornithologists’ website.

About the Journal

On behalf of the Association of Field Ornithologists, Journal of Field Ornithology publishes original articles that emphasize the descriptive or experimental study of birds in their natural habitats. Articles depicting general techniques, emphasizing conservation, describing life history, or assessing published studies or existing ideas are appropriate. The Journal publishes studies from throughout the world, which may include banded birds or populations. We actively encourage submissions from nonprofessional ornithologists and from ornithologists from groups underrepresented in the sciences.
Over the last decade, the Journal of Field Ornithology has consistently ranked in the top ten for impact factor among ornithological journals. As an online, open-access journal, we offer rapid progression through the peer-review process and early views on our website after acceptance.

Editorial Assistance Program

The Association of Field Ornithologists (AFO) offers a free service assisting authors of ornithological articles who are not native speakers of English. Manuscripts must be written in English (even if flawed), and an AFO volunteer will work with the authors to refine the writing into idiomatic English appropriate for scientific publication. It is important to realize that scientific content will not generally be addressed through this program, rather only suggestions for improving clarity and grammar will be provided. The EAP has created a database of AFO members willing to assist authors with their manuscripts. If interested in helping out as a volunteer with this program, please contact the EAP Coordinator. All inquiries from authors about manuscripts should be directed to Daniel M. Brooks, EAP Coordinator, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Houston Museum of Natural Science, One Herman Circle Drive, Houston, Texas 77030-1799, USA (phone +1 713-639-4776), e-mail dbrooks@hmns.org.

Unless specified differently below, papers reporting research results should generally use (but are not limited to) the classical format (Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Literature Cited). Length is restricted to ~7000 words exclusive of tables, figures, and literature cited. Publication fees are $1250 USD for research papers. Papers longer than 7000 words will be charged an Extra Word Fee ($100 if over 7000 words, $200 if over 8000 words, etc.).

Topic descriptions include the following:

Biology of Tropical Birds

  • Open Submissions
  • Peer-Reviewed
  • Indexed

Our largest gaps in ornithological knowledge lie in the tropic; we welcome articles on any aspect of tropical ornithology globally.

Avian Behavior, Ecology, and Evolution

  • Open Submissions
  • Peer-Reviewed
  • Indexed

Empirical studies testing long-standing theories and new concepts in ornithology, focusing on behavior, species interactions, or evolutionary ecology.

Avian Conservation and Management

  • Open Submissions
  • Peer-Reviewed
  • Indexed

Research into and evaluation of projects designed to protect bird species or populations and avian-relevant habitats and ecosystems; applied ornithological studies.

Ornithological Methods

  • Open Submissions
  • Peer-Reviewed
  • Indexed

Description and critical evaluation of new and innovative research methods developed for or re/applied to avian biology, conservation, and management.

Review and Meta-analyses

  • Open Submissions
  • Peer-Reviewed
  • Indexed

Systematic reviews, opinion-and-perspective pieces, and formal, quantitative meta-analyses aimed at synthesizing and moving forward a conceptually and/or empirically united topic in ornithology.

Response

  • Open Submissions
  • Peer-Reviewed
  • Indexed

Short papers (1000 word limit) designed to respond/follow up on papers published in recent issues, or to respond to issues raised in other forum articles. Forum papers may also raise attention on issues that were not specifically addressed in the paper. The Editors-in-Chief reserve the right to limit ongoing debates on the same topic to one response and one counter-response. To submit a response go to the original article and select the appropriate link on the right hand side panel

Other Contributions

  • Open Submissions
  • Peer-Reviewed
  • Indexed

Manuscripts that are appropriate for the Journal of Field Ornithology but do not fall under the above categories.

The Editor-in-Chief makes an initial appraisal of each manuscript. If the topic and treatment seem potentially appropriate for the journal, the manuscript is assigned to a subject editor who oversees the review process. Once the review process has been completed, the subject editor recommends acceptance, revision, or rejection of your manuscript. The final decision is made by the Editor-in-Chief.

Journal of Field Ornithology has a “double-blind” review process: authors are not told who is reviewing their manuscript and reviewers do not know whose manuscript they are reviewing. Author identity is revealed only to Subject Editors, Guest Editors, and EICs. Reviewers are informed of the author’s identity upon acceptance or rejection of a manuscript. After a decision is reached, a reviewer is free to contact the authors privately about the manuscript.

A decision on the manuscript generally may be expected within 1.5 months of submission; delays in obtaining reviews may prolong this process. Manuscripts are sent out for review electronically, and all correspondence takes place via e-mail. Although the peer-review process is accelerated by the use of electronic communication, traditional high-quality, peer-review standards are applied to all manuscripts submitted.

Regular issues are published twice annually, with issues available as ‘in progress as soon as articles are published.

This journal provides open access to all of its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. Such access is associated with increased readership and increased citation of an author’s work.

Jennifer Smith, Chair
Dan Ardia
Caren Cooper
Valentina Ferretti
Julie Jedlicka
Susan Pagano
Matthew Shumar

There is a publication fee of $1250 US for all accepted papers. Extra word fees apply if papers exceed the recommended length. We are not-for-profit and these fees help offset operational costs and permit open access to the full text. Authors are invoiced shortly after their article is accepted. There is no charge to submit an article nor is there a processing fee.

Publication Fee Waiver Policy – Full or partial waivers of the article publication charge (APC) may be granted to support authors from low- and middle-income countries and authors that are either: (A) students whose supervisors and co-authors lack funding to support publication; (B) avocational ornithologists or authors from bird banding stations whose co-authors lack funding to support publication; (C) from historically underrepresented groups in ornithology such as those working at Historically Black Colleges/Hispanic Serving Institutions/Universities and Native American Colleges whose authors and co-authors lack funding support; and (D) authors in other exceptional circumstances. Publication fee waivers must be requested at the time of submission; the granting of a waiver will have no bearing on the decision-making process (editors and reviewers do not have access to waiver-request information). Please note that JFO is a not-for-profit journal working with a not-for-profit publisher and we have a limited budget annually for waivers. Waivers are distributed on a quarterly basis, therefore not all qualifying submissions will automatically receive waivers. If you and your co-authors do not have funds to cover the APC cost, please ask your department chair or institution head if there are funds available to cover all or part of the publication costs before requesting an APC waiver.

To request a waiver, authors must provide a brief explanation and justification for the request and how much money authors are able to contribute to support publication costs (in US$).

Payment must be received before an article can be published. Many universities have grant programs to cover all or part of the cost of publishing in open-access journals. To find out if yours does, contact your library or copyright office.

Authors may withdraw their article at anytime prior to copy editing for a partial refund. Once the copy editing process has been initiated, no refund will be issued.

Please address any general questions regarding the fee policy or refunds to: managing_editor@jfo.resalliance.org.

This journal is archived with ClockSS for long-term preservation.

There are a variety of reasons why authors may wish to change their names – gender transition, marriage, divorce, legal name change, or professional name change, among others. These former names can often carry a stigma or unpleasantness and can lead to potential confusion. This policy ensures a sensitive and fair process for authors and avoids confusion when former names are compiled together with current names on a CV or webpage, or when citations are taken from indexing services automatically.

Authors wishing to change their name on a published article, for any reason, should contact the journal, giving the article details, the name they wish to change, and the name they wish it changed to. We will then republish the article (in the same issue and volume, same DOI, without an erratum, and without altering previous citations or citation counts), and request the article be reindexed by Clarivate’s Web of Knowledge. Other indexing services, including Google Scholar, will reindex the article automatically. To maintain authors’ privacy, there will be no notice or indication of the name change. To do this, we ask that authors provide us with one or more of the following:

  • evidence of using the name in a professional context, such as other journal publications linked with the same ORCID, thesis, or book chapter
  • legal document showing name change (e.g. deed-poll name change certificate or other government-issued identification)
  • letter from supervisor or line manager (on letterhead) of the research institution linked to the article (if the institution is different, evidencing either legal or common-use name change)
  • letter from any co-author of the article (on letterhead)
  • letter from a GP, accredited gender identity specialist, or national gender identity clinic, addressed to the journal.

The Association of Field Ornithologists (AFO) is an international not-for-profit organization and one of the world’s major societies of professional and amateur ornithologists dedicated to the scientific study and dissemination of information about birds in their natural habitats. AFO recognizes that organizational and societal barriers to participation and inclusion in ornithological activities exist and is committed to creating and fostering opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds to participate at all levels of the organization. AFO and its affiliated publication, The Journal of Field Ornithology, will support diversity in its membership and leadership regardless of ethnicity, country of origin, cultural background, race, age, disability, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic situation. We pledge to 1) actively seek and include diverse perspectives in our activities and decision-making by diversifying representation in membership, committees, and leadership, 2) identify and extinguish the barriers throughout AFO’s programs and activities that hinder diverse participation, and commit the financial resources to achieve these goals; and 3) better our awareness on the impacts of scientific research and conservation activities on marginalized communities. The inclusion of diverse human experiences and perspectives is necessary to achieve a truly just and equitable society and our mission of conservation and science is best realized when we commit to these values.