Author Guidelines


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 (a separate .docx file) where they define manuscript typology and the novelty of the contents. Authors have to suggest 2-4 experts in the topic of 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. 

Submissions will be evaluated at a first step by one of the Associate Editors, who 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 formatted as a pdf. Final proof will be sent to authors for revision and eventually uploaded on the journal website in the current issue (modality of ‘continuous publishing’).

Manuscript typologies and basic format

Avocetta accepts papers in four possible formats (see Journal Information for more details):

  • Research Articles;
  • Reviews (including meta-analyses);
  • Short Notes (comprising novel, technical or methodological notes) – max 3000 words including main text and captions of tables and figures;
  • Forum articles (to discuss opinions, raise issues or review areas in avian science outside the format of a review article).

Furthermore, Avocetta regularly publishes two special columns to which authors can contribute:

  • ‘Bird News’, intended to collect unusual bird observations which potentially contribute to the study of a changing world;
  • ‘PhD dissertation’ column, where we collect the abstracts of PhD dissertation of ornithological arguments defended in Italian universities and abroad from Italian PhD students. 

For submissions to the ‘Bird News’ column follow the information at the link

For submissions of PhD dissertation abstracts see

In all the cases, the first page of the manuscript should include:

  1.       Title
  2.       Names(s) of Author(s)
  3.      ORCID of the authors who want this publication recognised in their ORCID profile
  4.       Institutional affiliation
  5.       Short title
  6.       Abstract (max 350 words for articles and reviews and 150 words for short notes)
  7.       Key-words (3-8)

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 (that will constitute the Electronic Supplementary Material)

Your paper your way – no specific reference style is required at the first submission step

There are no strict requirements on reference formatting at the first submission apart from what was detailed in previous sections. 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

The title should be written in bold and lower case.

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 Calibri (size 10) and spaced at 1.5 lines.

Scientific names should be reported in italics without parentheses the first time the species is mentioned in the text and according to the classification used in IOC World Bird List .

For birds occurring in the Italian checklist please refer to ITALIAN CHECKLIST 2020, published in Avocetta 45/1, 2021.

Common names of species should be reported in uppercase (e.g. Common Whitethroat Sylvia communis; Raven Corvus corax).

For colour aberrations please refer to van Grouw 2021 BBOC 141(3): 276-299 (LINK) .

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

Two authors: (Isotti & Monacelli 2019) or Isotti & Monacelli (2019) when cited in the text.

Three or more authors: (Tavecchia et al. 2017) or Tavecchia et al. (2017)  when cited in the text.

References should be listed in alphabetical order adopting the style showed below.

For papers/books/book chapters/softwares 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 the last author name.

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. Journal of Ornithology 153: 839–848.

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). Journal of Biogeography  14: 63–89.


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.

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 and surname of the source, e.g. (O.P. Able, pers. com.).

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 JPG, 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.

Small and vertical figures will be printed on a single column (ca. 7.5 cm wide), bigger figures will occupy two columns (ca. 15.5 cm wide). Please take care that your figures are clearly readable at this size.

We warmly suggest printing your graph at the real size to grant the readability of all the graphic elements (axis name, numbers, symbology etc). All the text in the figures should be written in Calibri or a similar font.

Avocetta is no longer printed, however, pdf files are frequently printed by our readers in greyscale. So far, check that your graph could be interpreted in greyscale and by colour-blind (as you may do HERE). For a more complete guide on how to realize figures colour-blind friendly please refer to Nelli 2024 PlosONE (link here).

Authors should indicate in the text where the figures and the tables should be located to facilitate the proof composition.

example: [insert Figure 1 here] with two space lines above and below in order to have this clearly evidenced.

Suggestions on how to make a nice graph are findable here or, specifically for authors working in excel, here.

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 encourages 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. Authors are encouraged to use Calibri 10 or other dyslexia-friendly fonts.

After acceptance

Once a manuscript has been accepted, a DOI will be immediately assigned and the paper will be processed by the Board. In the following weeks, authors will receive the formatted article proofs that should be revised within a few days. As soon as it is ready, the final pdf of the manuscript will be published in the ‘current issue’ of the website (modality of ‘continuous publishing’).

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