IBIS – author guidelines

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Aims and scope

IBIS publishes original articles, reviews, short communications and Forum articles reflecting the forefront of international research activity in ornithological science, with special emphasis on the behaviour, ecology, evolution and conservation of birds.

IBIS publishes papers as EarlyView (final formatted version) four weeks after acceptance, with most papers appearing in the next available issue.

Published continuously since 1859, IBIS was the world’s first dedicated ornithology journal, establishing itself as the journal of record for many regions in the 19th Century, and remains one of the highest impact factor journals in ornithology.

More information about IBIS can be found here.

Please see a recent issue of IBIS to get a better feel for the types of papers we publish.

IBIS follows IOC World Bird Names for taxonomy and nomenclature.

Effective with the 2024 volume, this journal will be published in an online-only format.

Conservation Evidence

For conservation related studies IBIS strongly encourages authors to consult the Conservation Evidence website. This site collects, curates, and summarises tests of conservation interventions. Researchers are encouraged to use this resource when planning research involving conservation interventions and to check the site for previous published studies in your relevant field. Further information on how this resource can be found in Sutherland et al. 2020.

Themed issues

Articles published in themed issues are often cited more frequently than articles published in regular issues. When IBIS is welcoming submissions for themed issues, the details will appear here.

Types of Papers

Papers are published under 4 headings:

Original Articles
These are full length papers, which make up the main part of each issue. Papers focus on empirical and theoretical research in all areas of ornithology. They are limited to 7000 words, excluding references and figure legends. An abstract is required. There are no page charges.

Short Communications
These are focused articles answering a simple, clearly defined question. They will advance the field of study, supporting new hypotheses, developing further studies, or evaluating new or existing methods. Sample sizes must be sufficient to support conclusions. Word limit 3500, excluding refs. and fig. legends. Up to four display items (tables/figures). A four-sentence abstract is required. No page charges.

Reviews should be critical and forward-looking syntheses of an existing body of primary ornithological research which aim to address one or more clearly defined questions, add insight, and shed light on future research directions. Simple descriptive compilations or catalogues of previous studies will not be considered for publication. Traditional narrative reviews, scoping reviews and systematic reviews are all welcomed and meta-analysis may be included.

Full reviews have no formal word count limit. Our new category of Mini reviews have a limit of 6000 words (main text and references) and are well suited for emerging areas of research interest which currently have a small primary literature, or for critical reviews of more specific sub-topics within broader research areas.

In all cases, reviews should include a short Methods section to aid replicability by explaining the protocols used for (i) literature searches; (ii) filtering, selection, and critical appraisal of primary studies and, where relevant, (iii) extraction and synthesis of primary data. The Discussion section should include the authors’ own appraisal of any limitations encountered.

Reviews may be submitted unsolicited, but we encourage prospective authors to contact the Reviews Editor to discuss the proposed topic and approach to ensure that it is likely to be suitable for consideration by Ibis. Recent review papers can be found here to illustrate some of the topics treated in recent years. We especially encourage PhD students and their supervisors to consider whether the introductory chapter of their thesis might be the basis for a full or short review for Ibis, as reviews tend to be well cited and downloaded.

Forum articles (Free to Read option available)
Forum articles offer authors an opportunity to discuss opinions, raise issues or review areas in avian science likely to be of interest to IBIS readers outside the formal structures of a scientific paper. They cover a wide range of subjects, related to ornithology including science, policy, conservation and management. One Forum article per issue is made Free to Read and these articles attract a great deal of interest.

An Open Access option is available on all classes of paper on payment of the appropriate licence fee (see below).

Submission Policy

New submissions should be made via the Research Exchange (ReX) submission portal. Should your manuscript proceed to the revision stage, you will be directed to make your revisions via the same submission portal. You may check the status of your submission at any time by logging on to submission.wiley.com and clicking the “My Submissions” button. For technical help with the submission system, please review the Wiley FAQs or contact submissionhelp@wiley.com.

Submission is considered on the condition that manuscripts are previously unpublished, are not offered simultaneously elsewhere, and that all contributors have read and approved the content.

Authors of articles published in Wiley journals are permitted to self-archive the submitted (preprint) version of the article at any time, and may self-archive the accepted (peer-reviewed) version after an embargo period of 12 months. You will find more information on self-archiving here.

Submitted manuscripts will be acknowledged automatically and assigned a unique manuscript number, which must be quoted in correspondence. Manuscripts are refereed, although the journal reserves the right to reject manuscripts without review.

We aim to get 90% of manuscripts a first decision within 8 weeks of submission.

Note that IBIS operates double blind review.

Dual language abstracts: We encourage authors to provide an additional abstract as a translation of the English abstract in their native language or the language relevant to the country in which the research was conducted. Authors who wish to take advantage of this option should upload the additional abstract where prompted on the file upload page.

See also Submission


IBIS will consider for review articles previously available as preprints on non-commercial servers such as ArXiv, bioRxiv, psyArXiv, SocArXiv, engrXiv, etc. Authors may also post the submitted version of their manuscript to non-commercial servers at any time. Authors are requested to update any pre-publication versions with a link to the final published article.

Author contributions
For all articles, the journal mandates the CRediT (Contribution Roles Taxonomy), for more information please see Wiley Author Services.


IBIS requires the submitting author (only) to provide an ORCID iD when submitting their manuscript. You can create an ORCID iD and associate it with your account at the time of submission. You will find more information on ORCID at https://olabout.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-828034.html


IBIS is a member of and subscribes to the principles of the Committee on Publication Ethics. Submitted work must comply with the BOU’s Ethical Policy which can be read here. IBIS also expects authors to follow good practice in publication ethics, as outlined here.

Work carried out under license must report the license number. A photocopy of relevant research licenses must be scanned and uploaded with your submission.

An ethics statement and any licence names and numbers will be included with your published paper.

Source of Funding

Authors are required to specify the source of funding for their research when submitting a paper. Suppliers of materials should be named, and their location (town, state/county, country) included. The information will be disclosed in the published article.

Conflict of interest

IBIS 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. All potential conflicts, directly or indirectly relevant to work described in the author’s manuscript, must be disclosed.

Potential sources of conflict of interest include but are not limited to patent or stock ownership, membership of a company board of directors, membership of an advisory board or committee for a company, and consultancy for or receipt of speaker’s fees from a company.

The existence of a conflict of interest does not preclude publication in this journal.
It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to review this policy with all authors and to collectively list in the cover letter to the Editor, in the manuscript (under the Acknowledgment section), and in the online submission system ALL pertinent commercial and other relationships. If the authors have no conflict of interest to declare, they must also state this at submission.

Open Access

Papers can be retrospectively made Open Access.

OnlineOpen is available to authors of primary research articles who wish to make their article available to non-subscribers upon publication, 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 via Wiley Online Library. You can find details on fees here. The article is also deposited in the funding agency’s preferred archive. The full list of terms and conditions can be found here.

Any authors wishing to send their paper OnlineOpen will be required to complete the payment form available here.

Prior to acceptance there is no requirement to inform an Editorial Office that you intend to publish your paper OnlineOpen as all OnlineOpen articles are treated in the same way as any other article. They go through the Journal’s standard peer-review process and will be accepted or rejected based on their own merit.

You can find more information on Open Access here.

Registration of DNA sequences

DNA sequences published in IBIS should be deposited in the EMBL/GenBank/DDJB Nucleotide Sequence Databases. An accession number for each sequence should be included in the manuscript.

Zoobank registration

You must register any new names of species with Zoobank www.zoobank.org and provide a link within your manuscript to the registration.

Copyright transfer agreement form

If your manuscript is accepted, the author identified as the formal corresponding author for the manuscript will receive an email prompting them to login into Author Services where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be able to complete the copyright transfer agreement form on behalf of all authors on the manuscript.

You will find more information on this here.

Article tracking

Online production tracking is available for your article through Wiley Blackwell’s Author Services.

Once it has been accepted, Author Services enables authors to track their article through the production process to publication.

Proofs and offprints

Proofs will be available as a PDF to download from our e-proofing website. Full instructions will be sent via email notification when the proof is ready for collection.

Free access to the final PDF offprint will be available via Author Services only.

Archiving policy

Unless specifically requested at submission, the publisher will dispose of all hard copy or electronic material submitted two months post publication.

Promoting your paper

The BOU actively promotes papers in IBIS. In addition to e-alerts via the IBIS website we carry highlights of each issue on the BOU website, with featured papers also included in our e-newsletters. All IBIS papers also feature on Twitter (@IBIS_journal), Facebook (facebook.com/IBISjournal) and Instagram (@IBIS_journal).

We also feature papers from IBIS on the BOU blog. We encourage authors to write a blog as this is a fantastic opportunity to promote your research and the paper in a style and language that is more accessible to a wider audience. This should take the form of a non-technical summary of your paper, or an interesting story from the fieldwork that led up to the paper, in fact anything related to your paper. You can include photos, graphics and links to any online videos or sound files. Blog posts should be no longer than 700 words. Ibis authors get priority access to the BOU blog.

The BOU has produced an author self-promotion toolkit where you will find lots of helpful information on how to promote your work.

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