Vacancy – Editor of IBIS

Applications are invited for the position of Editor


IBIS is the quarterly, peer-reviewed international journal of the British Ornithologists’ Union (BOU) published by Wiley. The journal publishes original papers, reviews, short communications and forum articles representing the forefront of international research activity in ornithological science, with special emphasis on the behaviour, ecology, evolution and conservation of birds. The journal has a wide international readership of professionals working in academia, consultancies, governments, regulators, NGOs and the environment sector. IBIS is currently ranked 4/28 amongst ornithology journals and is the leading ornithology journal in Altmetrics.

The role

This is an exciting opportunity to become an Editor of a long-established and successful journal and to join an experienced and committed team (comprising an Editor in Chief and five Editors) making a significant contribution to ornithology. You will be part of an international panel of five editors led by the Editor in Chief and supported by over 50 Associate Editors, a Journal Manager and the BOU’s IBIS Management Committee.

Core functions and responsibilities include:

  • Editorial management of the review of manuscripts and editing where required (c. 35 manuscripts involving c. 70-80 decisions per year) following best practice in scientific peer-review.
  • Working closely with Associate Editors and Reviewers to provide constructive peer review and deliver high quality journal articles.
  • Providing mentoring of new Associate Editors to develop their expertise in the review process.
  • Suggesting topical subject areas for Reviews to the Reviews Editor and encourage authors to submit their best work to
  • Attending (online) the annual IBIS Management Committee meeting and 1-2 Editorial Meetings each year.

Essential requirements for the job are:

  • Strong track record of research and publication in avian science in high-ranking international journals.
  • A passion for ornithology with a broad interest in all aspects of avian science, ecology and conservation, as well as interest in the peer-review process.
  • The ability to critically read and assess the novelty, quality and importance of submitted manuscripts, including those outwith your own subject specialism.
  • An understanding of what makes a well-written and accessible journal article, and the desire to work with authors, especially early career researchers (ECRs) to help them achieve this.
  • Qualified to PhD and previous international journal experience to at least Associate Editor level.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Enthusiasm, commitment, judgement and integrity.
  • Excellent time management skills and an ability to work to tight deadlines.
  • Good interpersonal skills and ability to work in a team.

Other desirable skills:

  • A thorough understanding of recent trends and developments in ornithology, ecology and conservation.
  • Ability to promote the journal internationally through academic networks, social media and at scientific 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. We accept applications from any ornithological researcher from anywhere in the World.

Enquiries and applications (with CV) should be sent by email to our Journal Manager, Angela Langford (

Applications should include a covering letter that summarises relevant experience, a personal statement which describes why you are enthusiastic about this opportunity and stating any limitations regarding possible start date.

Applications should be received by 30 June 2021. We will undertake interviews, by Zoom, in the second half of July and would like the successful applicant to be available to commence work by 1 September 2021.

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 membership and 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.