Vacancy – Editor in Chief of IBIS

Applications are invited for the position of Editor in Chief of IBIS


IBIS ( is the quarterly, peer-reviewed journal of the British Ornithologists’ Union (BOU) published by Wiley-Blackwell. Publishing original papers from both the research and practitioner communities. We welcome original papers, reviews and short communications reflecting the forefront of research activity in ornithological science, but with special emphasis on the conservation, ecology, methodology, ethology and systematics of birds. The journal has a wide readership of professionals working in academia, consultancies, governments, regulators, NGOs and the environment sector.

IBIS is consistently in the top three (of 28) ranked ornithology journals and is currently ranked #1 (2020 journal impact factors, Clarivate, June 2021). The journal is also the leading ornithology journal in Altmetrics.

The role

Joining a long-established and successful journal, this is an exciting opportunity to make a significant contribution to ornithology. As Editor in Chief you will head up a team of five other editors supported by over 50 Associate Editors, a Journal Manager and the BOU’s IBIS Management Committee.

Core functions and responsibilities include:

  • Overall responsibility for the scientific content, quality and direction of the journal.
  • Overall oversight and responsibility for the peer-review and publication of manuscripts.
  • Overall responsibility for strategic management, editorial team management, manuscript management and journal production.
  • Working with key society and publisher staff on journal promotion.
  • Working closely with the Editorial Board, Associate Editors, the BOU’s journal and business managers, society officers and the publisher.

Essential requirements for the job are:

  • The ideal candidate will be recognised internationally for their academic publications, and have an impressive track record of academic output.
  • Good time management skills and an ability to work to tight deadlines.
  • A passion for ornithology with a broad interest in all aspects of ornithology, wider ecology, conservation, the scientific community and publishing.
  • Enthusiasm, commitment, judgement and integrity.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and confidence.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • The ability to read and assess the novelty, context and implications of submitted research to the journal from different disciplines.
  • An understanding of what makes a well-written and accessible research or review paper, and the desire to work with authors to help them achieve this.

Other desirable skills:

  • A thorough understanding of recent trends and developments in ornithology and ecology.
  • An understanding of the benefits, and personal use, of social media for research purposes.
  • Ability to promote the journal internationally through academic networks, social media and at scientific conferences.

Applicants will have a PhD which uses birds as their primary research focus and previous journal experience to at least Associate Editor level.

The position requires around 2.5 days per month with additional days required for meetings and conferences. This is offered on a self-employed basis for an initial term of four years. The position is costed on 30 days work a year.

Ideally, applicants should be based in the UK in order to attend in-person meetings, but we will consider applications from those who can attend virtual meetings which are usually held between 0830 – 1630 UTC.

Applicants should send a CV by email to our Journal Manager, Angela Langford (angelalangford(@) with a covering letter that summarises relevant experience. They should also provide a personal statement which describes why they are enthusiastic about this opportunity, and states any limitations regarding possible start date.

Applications should be received by 15 April 2022. We will undertake interviews on 15 May and would like the successful applicant to be available to commence work by 1 August.

About the BOU

The BOU is one of the world’s oldest and most respected ornithological societies with an international membership stretching across all continents. We promote the understanding and conservation of the world’s birds, advancing ornithology within the scientific community.
The BOU’s core activities are:

  • Publishing IBIS as a leading international journal of ornithological science.
  • Organising a programme of scientific meetings and conferences.
  • Awarding grants and bursaries for ornithological research.
  • Encouraging liaison between those actively engaged in ornithological research.
  • Providing a representative body of the scientific community able to provide ornithological information and advice to government and other policy makers.

The BOU has a strong, global social media presence which we use to drive our activities and to promote ornithology at the widest level, particularly within the global scientific research community. We use our social media outreach to drive the online attention of IBIS papers and to educate our ornithological research community about the benefits of promoting their research and how to do this effectively.