Author Guidelines


Founded in 1953, Avocetta has been regularly published since 1978. Since 2017 it is an open access, biannual and peer-reviewed journal of ornithology publishing Original Researches, Review articles (including meta-analyses), Forum (to discuss opinions, raise issues or review areas in avian science outside the format of a review article) and Short Notes (comprising novel, technical or methodological notes) of general importance and/or current interest in all aspects of ornithology and from all regions of the world. The publication language is English. Moreover, Avocetta publishes a Column (BIRD NEWS) intended to collect unusual bird observations which potentially contribute to the study of a changing world as well as, once a year, it brings a Column that reviews the content of PhD dissertations on ornithological arguments that have been defended in Italian universities.

As an open access journal, Avocetta provides a unique opportunity for authors to publish at no cost high-quality contents that will be internationally accessible for free to any reader [FULL open access, with license CC-BY-SA]. In coherence with our open access policy, we encourage authors to make accessible the data used in their papers, either in form of electronic supplementary material in our journal site or storing the data in public repositories (e.g. Dryad, Movebank or Genebank).



Manuscripts must be sent as a word file (.docx) in attachment to this address:

Each manuscript will be considered for publication on the understanding that it has not also been submitted to another journal. Authors are invited to submit a manuscript accompanied by a Cover Letter where they define manuscript typology, the novelty of the contents and they may suggest up to three experts in the topic afforded in the manuscript that could be eligible as referees (name, affiliation and e-mail address). Moreover, they are requested to reveal any possible conflict of interest they might have with other researchers at the time of submission.

Avocetta accepts submission of manuscripts in English and only publishes in this language. However, we exceptionally accept submissions in Italian and Spanish, assuming that if eventually accepted, manuscripts will be translated to English at cost in charge to the authors. In any case, we strongly advise non-native speakers to consult professional reviewers for language check prior to submission. In order to favour submissions from non-native English speakers, Avocetta offers a service of professional translation and proof language correction managed by the Editorial Board, to ensure fair costs and fast time of revision. Authors interested in this service should contact:

Submissions will be evaluated at a first step by one of the Associate Editor, that will decide whether to send it out to external referees. Successively, manuscript will be reviewed by at least two anonymous referees; the Associate Editor in charge will follow the editorial process from submission to eventual acceptance or rejection. The editorial decision will be communicated to the corresponding author together with other relevant information.

Once accepted, the manuscript will be associated with a permanent DOI and immediately (within 2-7 days) uploaded on the website of Avocetta in the ‘Early View’ section, prior to definitive graphic layout. Final proof will be sent to authors for revision and eventually uploaded on the journal web. Despite the immediate publication of the article, this will be eventually associated with a defined issue, which will come out in June or December.


Manuscript typologies and basic format

Avocetta accepts papers in four possible formats: Research articles, Reviews, Short notes and Forum articles (see Journal Information for more details).

Furthermore, Avocetta regularly publishes two special columns: ‘Bird News’ for the report of bird observations of special interest and the ‘PhD dissertation’ column, where we collect the abstracts of PhD dissertation of ornithological arguments defended in Italian universities.  For submissions to “Bird News” column follow the link For submissions of PhD dissertation abstracts see

In all the cases, the manuscript should be formatted having a first page which include:

  1.       Title
  2.       Names(s) of Author(s)
  3.      ORCID of the authors that want this publication recognised in their ORCID profile
  4.       Institutional affiliation
  5.       Short title (only for Research articles and Reviews)
  6.       Abstract (only for Research articles, Reviews and Short notes)
  7.       Key-words (only for Research articles, Reviews and Short notes)


Abstract should be no longer than 350 words for articles and reviews and 150 words for short notes. Short notes are limited to 3000 words including main text and captions of tables and figures.

The other sections of the manuscript are (in order):

  1.       Introduction
  2.       Materials and Methods
  3.       Results
  4.       Discussion
  5.       Acknowledgements
  6.       References
  7.       Figure and table captions
  8.       Tables
  9.         Figures
  10.     Appendices


Your paper your way – no specific reference style is required on first submission –

There are no strict requirements on reference formatting at the first submission apart from what detailed in previous section. Submit your paper as you prefer, we will ask you to format it coherently to our journal style only in case of acceptance. So far, at the first submission, references can be in any style or format as long as the style is consistent. However, please don’t use numbers for the references in the text and list them alphabetically in the Reference section. Where applicable, author(s) name(s), journal title/book title, chapter title/article title, year of publication, volume number/book chapter and the pagination must be present. Use of DOI is highly encouraged. Consider that you must give to the referee enough data to track the bibliography that you are citing in your manuscript. Line numbering is required at this stage.

Text formatting

Headings of any section (Introduction, Methods etc.) should be written in bold and capital letters, whereas subheadings and the Acknowledgements should be in bold letters. Manuscripts should be prepared with lines numbered consecutively, using Times New Roman 12 format and spaced at 1.5. Scientific names should be reported in italics without parentheses the first time the species is mentioned in the text and according to classification used in For birds occurring in the Italian checklist please refers to Common names of species should be reported in uppercase (e.g. Common Whitethroat Sylvia communis; Raven Corvus corax). Standard abbreviations should be used for measurements (mm, m, km, g, kg, Hz, s, min, h, °C, etc.), as well as for statistics (r, t, χ2, F, U, Z, df, SD, SE, N, P). Points (.) should be adopted as decimal marks and commas (,) as thousand separators.

The reference style (section below) used by Avocetta will be then required at the proof stage after notification of acceptance for publication.


The order for references within parentheses in the text should be chronological and then alphabetical, separated by comma.

Publications by the same author(s) in the same year should be listed as 2004a, 2004b, etc.

One author: (Brambilla 2019) or Brambilla (2019) when cited in the text.

If there are only two authors please list both, i.e., (Isotti & Monacelli 2019) or Isotti & Monacelli (2019) when cited in the text.

Three or more authors: the name of the first author must be followed by ‘et al.’ and followed by the year of publication in parentheses: (Tavecchia et al. 2017) or Tavecchia et al. (2017)  when cited in the text.

References should be listed in alphabetical order adopting the following style:

Journal article:

Massa B. & Borg J., 2018. European Birds of Conservation Concern: some constructive remarks. Avocetta 42: 75–84.

Kassara C., Fric J., Gschweng M. & Sfenthourakis S., 2012. Complementing the puzzle of Eleonora’s  Falcon  (Falco  eleonorae)  migration:  new  evidence  from  an  eastern  colony  in  the  Aegean Sea. J. Orn. 153: 839–848.


Ratcliffe D., 1997. The raven. T & AD Poyser, London, UK

Venables W.N. & Ripley B.D., 2002. Modern Applied Statistics with S. Springer, New York, USA, 4th ed., pp. 498

Frankham R.,  Ballou J.D. & Briscoe D.A., 2002. Introduction to Conservation Genetics. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, UK

For papers with up to five authors report the complete name list. For works with more than five authors: report the name of the first four authors, then insert […] to indicate omitted names and eventually insert ‘&’ followed by last author name, see example:

Sarà M., Bondì S., Bermejo A., Bourgeois M., […]  & Rubolini D. 2019. Broad-front migration leads to strong migratory connectivity in the lesser kestrel (Falco naumanni). J. Biogeogr.  14:63-89.

Chapter in a book:

Kinene T., Wainaina J.M., Maina S. & Boykin L., 2016. Rooting Trees, Methods. In: Kliman R. (ed.), Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Biology. Vol. 3. Academic Press, Cambridge, MA, pp. 489–493.


R Core Team, 2019. R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. Vienna, Austria

Only published material or material accepted for publication should be listed in the references; personal communications, unpublished data, manuscripts in preparation, etc., should be incorporated in the text in parentheses with the initials surname of the source, e.g., (O.P. Able, pers. com.).

Journal abbreviations should be written in accordance with the World List of Scientific Periodicals.

Articles in press (accepted for publication and with a DOI) should be cited as “in press” that should replace the year of publication in the reference list.



Tables and Figures

Tables and Figures should be numbered consecutively in the order to which they are referred to in the text. Tables should be readable and contain a legend above the table. Within the text, tables should be cited as Tab. 1, Tab. 2, etc.

Figures should be sent separately from the manuscript as TIF, TIFF, GIF or vector files (SVG, EPS, PDF, PSD), with a resolution of at least 300 dpi. Figure legends should be reported in the proper section. Within the text, figures should be cited as Fig. 1, Fig. 2, etc.

Figures are preferred in .jpg or .tif format. Avocetta also has a printed version of the journal, so figures should fit the need of this version. Figures will be printed with a variable width from 7.4 cm to 11. Please take care that your figures are clearly readable at this size. Minimum resolution is of 300 dpi.

Colour figures (.TIF /.TIFF formats at least at 300 dpi of resolution) are accepted for the online version of the paper, including the open-access pdf that will be published on the journal website, but b/w figures must also be submitted after acceptance.

Animal welfare

All animal experimentation reported to the journal must meet the ABS/ASAB guidelines for ethical treatment of animals (, the legal requirements of the country in which the work was carried out, and all institutional guidelines. Authors must cite the granting body and reference number for animal ethics approvals associated with the work within the methods of the manuscript. Example: “All procedures were performed in full accordance with the Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes and fully meet the ASAB/ABS guidelines”.

Conservation Evidence

Avocetta has joined a global initiative to sustain evidence-based conservation studies and actions If a conservation intervention was tested, provide at least a sentence summarizing the evidence related to the intervention in the introduction. If there is no previously published evidence, please state that. A good place to check for existing evidence relating to conservation interventions is the database found at

Data accessibility

Avocetta strongly encourage to provide a statement about where data supporting the results reported in a published article can be found – including, where applicable, hyperlinks to publicly archived datasets analysed or generated during the study. Electronic Supplementary Material can be used for this purpose.

Electronic Supplementary Material

Articles published in Avocetta may be supplemented by additional data in the form of Electronic Supplementary Material (ESM) that will be published on the journal website. As for the manuscripts, ESM will be reviewed by editors and referees. ESMs may be tables, figures, datasets, videos or photographs. Each one should be numbered consecutively (e.g. ESM 1, ESM 2, etc.) and the authors should properly mention each of them in the manuscript text. A manuscript must, however, contain sufficient detail to allow readers to completely understand rationale and results, without referring to ESMs. Editors and referees may suggest authors to move some of their Materials and Methods or Results to ESM. ESMs should be submitted to Avocetta as a single pdf file. Note: Electronic Supplementary Material files will not be copy-edited and proofs will not be provided.

After acceptance

Once a manuscript has been accepted, a DOI will be immediately assigned and the paper will be published in a non-formatted pdf on the website, in the ‘early view’ section. This process reduces to few days the time lapse from paper acceptance to its availability for the scientific community. In the following weeks, authors will receive the formatted article proofs that should be revised within two weeks. At the publication of the Avocetta half-yearly issue, the final pdf of the manuscript will be published in the ‘latest issue’ section of the website.

Each accepted manuscript should be associated to a small size .JPG or .TIF image that will be used to promote the article on the journal website and in the social media. We therefore request the authors to submit this image, ideally representing the study species, the concept and/or the study environment.

All the articles, short notes and special section contents published in Avocetta are fully open access on the journal website.