Open Access Policy

This journal provides open access to all of its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. Such access is associated with increased readership and increased citation of an author’s work.

For more information about this open source publishing system, please read about the Public Knowledge Project’s Open Journal System, upon which this publishing system is built.

Avian Conservation and Ecology is an open-access, fully electronic scientific journal, sponsored by the Society of Canadian Ornithologists and Birds Canada. We publish papers that are scientifically rigorous and relevant to the bird conservation community in a cost-effective electronic approach that makes them freely available to scientists and the public in real-time. ACE is a fully indexed ISSN journal that welcomes contributions from scientists all over the world.

While the name of the journal implies a publication niche of conservation AND ecology, we think the theme of conservation THROUGH ecology provides a better sense of our purpose. As such, we are particularly interested in contributions that use a scientifically sound and rigorous approach to the achievement of avian conservation as revealed through insights into ecological principles and processes. Papers are expected to fall along a continuum of pure conservation and management at one end to more pure ecology at the other but our emphasis will be on those contributions with direct relevance to conservation objectives.

Additional information on types of papers considered:

We encourage papers on birds at any ecological level (individuals to ecosystems) that have a strong hypothesis driven approach to conservation problems. Papers in ACE will ideally have clearly articulated hypotheses and predictions laid out in the Introduction. However, we also recognize the value of descriptive studies that clearly define the value of the findings to real-world conservation objectives. In such cases, the onus will be on the authors to demonstrate that their descriptive study can provide significant value within the scope of current knowledge and future research directions. Papers on the natural history of species will typically not be considered. However, behavioral studies are welcomed if they have a bearing on conservation issues (e.g., whether and how extinction risk covaries with mating systems and human activities, and why it might be expected to; or whether and how dispersal is affected by habitat alteration, and why it might be expected to). Impact studies are welcomed if the consequences of documented effects are examined in a mechanistic ecological context (e.g., whether and how landscape-level habitat alteration by industrial forestry alters processes affecting population growth or community dynamics, and why it might be expected to). Studies conducted in areas essentially free of human influence are relevant if they represent controls against which impacted areas are compared. They may also represent model systems of ecological phenomena with consequences for conservation, provided that the connection to conservation is explicitly stated in the rationale for the research.

We recognize the increasing scope of statistical treatments of data that range among frequentist, information theoretic and Bayesian approaches. However, we caution authors against the approach of rejecting trivial null hypotheses as these usually provide little insight into the support for the alternate hypothesis unless conducted in a strict experimental framework.

Écologie et conservation des oiseaux (ÉCO) est une revue scientifique sous format électronique en libre accès, parrainée par la Société des ornithologistes du Canada et Oiseaux Canada. Nous publions des articles scientifiques rigoureux qui sont d’intérêt pour les spécialistes en conservation d’oiseaux. Nous avons opté pour le format électronique car il est économique et permet l’accessibilité des articles en temps réel pour les scientifiques et le public en général. La revue ÉCO est indexée dans la base ISSN et accepte les articles provenant de chercheurs du monde entier.

Bien que le nom de la revue réfère à un champ disciplinaire touchant la conservation ET l’écologie, nous pensons que la conservation par l’écologie est davantage appropriée pour refléter notre objectif. Ainsi, nous sommes tout particulièrement intéressés par les articles qui présentent une approche scientifique rigoureuse menant à la conservation aviaire, au moyen d’avancées au plan des principes et des processus écologiques. Nous voulons que les articles se situent le long d’un gradient – allant de la conservation et de la gestion pures à une extrémité à l’écologie pure de l’autre –, mais privilégierons les articles qui auront des objectifs clairs de conservation.

Renseignements additionnels sur le type d’articles souhaités

Nous souhaitons recevoir des articles sur les oiseaux à tous les niveaux écologiques (des individus aux écosystèmes), qui présentent une approche élaborée des problèmes de conservation fondée sur des hypothèses. Idéalement, les hypothèses et les prévisions devraient être énoncées clairement dans l’introduction. Toutefois, nous reconnaissons également l’intérêt des travaux descriptifs qui démontrent explicitement la valeur de leurs résultats par rapport à des objectifs de conservation de la réalité courante. Dans ces cas, les auteurs seront responsables de démontrer que leur étude descriptive comporte une avancée comparativement aux connaissances actuelles et qu’elle pourra servir à orienter les recherches futures. Les articles sur l’histoire naturelle d’espèces ne seront généralement pas pris en considération. Par ailleurs, les études comportementales seront considérées si elles ont un lien avec des enjeux de conservation (p. ex. si et de quelle façon le risque de disparition covarie avec le type d’accouplement et les activités humaines, et pourquoi il pourrait covarier; ou encore, si et de quelle façon la dispersion est affectée par les modifications d’habitat, et pourquoi elle pourrait l’être). Les études d’impact seront considérées si les conséquences des effets constatés sont examinées dans un contexte écologique mécaniste (p. ex. si et de quelle façon les modifications d’habitat à l’échelle du paysage par la foresterie commerciale altèrent les processus qui affectent la croissance de la population ou la dynamique de la communauté, et pourquoi elles pourraient en être responsables). Les travaux menés dans des endroits pratiquement non modifiés par les humains sont pertinents s’ils représentent des contrôles à comparer avec des endroits modifiés par les humains. Ces travaux peuvent aussi représenter un système-modèle d’un phénomène écologique ayant des conséquences pour la conservation, à condition que le lien avec celle-ci soit clairement stipulé dans l’objectif de la recherche.

Nous reconnaissons l’importance grandissante du traitement statistique des données, que l’approche soit fréquentiste, bayésienne ou de la théorie de l’information. Cependant, nous désirons mettre en garde les auteurs contre le rejet d’une hypothèse nulle qui serait futile, puisque cette façon de faire donne généralement moins de crédibilité à l’acceptation de l’hypothèse alternative, à moins que ce rejet soit mené dans un cadre expérimental strict.

Invited Essay or Review

Submissions to this category must be invited by the Editors-in-Chief. Essays are in-depth reflections on an issue with major implications for avian conservation. Reviews are comprehensive syntheses of current research on a particular topic relevant to avian conservation. Max. length for invited essays: 3000 words; max length for invited reviews: 7500 words. Publication fee: none.

Research Paper

Standard papers reporting research results using the classical format (Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Literature Cited). Length restricted to 7000 words exclusive of tables, figures and literature cited. Publication fees are $800 USD for research papers. Papers longer than 7000 words will be charged an Extra Word Fee ($100 if over 7000 words, $200 if over 8000 words etc..)


Relatively short papers designed to attract attention to innovative concepts or techniques which have the potential to strongly influence the research area. Letters will be of interest to a broader audience than topics addressed in standard research papers. For example, a letter describing a major advance in the estimation of juvenile survival by an innovative method to track bird movements over long time intervals and/or distances is likely to be of interest to avian ecologists generally. Statistical analyses supporting the concept or technique may be preliminary, but nevertheless robust with respect to the inferences drawn. Letters describing innovative concepts or techniques accompanied by too few data, or inappropriately analyzed, will not be accepted. Length is restricted to 3000 words, exclusive of tables, figures and literature cited. Publication fees are $800 + extra word fees.


In-depth reflection on an issue with major implications for avian conservation. Even though no original data are required for this manuscript type, the article must present an original, insightful perspective. Max. length: 3000 words. Publication fee: $800 USD.

Short Communication

ACE encourages the submission of short communications (<4000 words) as appropriate. At the discretion of the editors, these will report significant findings that may be preliminary but of considerable relevance to the field or with a high probability of encouraging new lines of investigation. The formatting will be the same as for regular papers, will undergo full peer review, and will be placed at the end of the issue and identified as short communications. Publication fee: $800 USD + extra word fees.


Consistent with our goals to contribute to avian conservation using scientifically sound and rigorous approaches, ACE welcomes methodological papers that will be highlighted in our Methodology section. Studies in this section deal with the scientific assessment of field, laboratory, technical, modeling, analytical or statistical techniques relevant to the study of avian conservation and ecology. Maximum length is 7000 words. $800 USD plus Extra Word Fee (over 7000 words $100, over 8000 words $200 etc..)

Forum (Response)

Short papers (1000 word limit) designed to respond/follow up on papers published in recent issues, or to respond to issues raised in other forum articles. Forum papers may also raise attention on issues that were not specifically addressed in the paper. The Editors-in-Chief reserve the right to limit ongoing debates on the same topic to one response and one counter-response. To submit a response go to the original article and select the appropriate link on the right hand side panel.

The Editor-in-Chief makes an initial appraisal of each manuscript. If the topic and treatment seem potentially appropriate for the journal, the manuscript is assigned to a subject editor who oversees the review process. Once the review process has been completed, the subject editor recommends acceptance, revision, or rejection of your manuscript. The final decision is made by the Editor-in-Chief.

Avian Conservation and Ecology has a “double blind” review process: authors are not told who is reviewing their manuscript and reviewers do not know whose manuscript they are reviewing. Author identity is revealed only to Subject Editors, Guest Editors and EICs. Reviewers are informed of the author’s identity upon acceptance or rejection of a manuscript. After a decision is reached, a reviewer is free to contact the authors privately about the manuscript.

A decision on the manuscript generally may be expected within 1.5 months of submission; delays in obtaining reviews may prolong this process. Manuscripts are sent out for review electronically, and all correspondence takes place via e-mail. Although the peer review process is accelerated by the use of electronic communication, traditional high-quality, peer-review standards are applied to all manuscripts submitted.

Regular issues are published twice annually, with issues available as ‘in progress’ as soon as articles are published.

This journal is currently archived with ClockSS for long-term preservation.

There are a variety of reasons why authors may wish to change their names – gender transition, marriage, divorce, legal name change, or professional name change, among others. These former names can often carry a stigma or unpleasantness, and can lead to potential confusion. This policy ensures a sensitive and fair process for authors, and avoids confusion when former names are compiled together with current names on a CV or webpage, or when citations are taken from indexing services automatically.

Authors wishing to change their name on a published article, for any reason, should contact the journal, giving the article details, the name they wish to change, and the name they wish it changed to. We will then republish the article (in the same issue and volume, same DOI, and without an erratum, and without altering previous citations or citation counts), and request the article be reindexed by Clarivate’s Web of Knowledge. Other indexing services, including Google Scholar, will reindex the article automatically. To maintain authors’ privacy, there will be no notice or indication of the name change. To do this, we ask that authors provide us with one or more of the following:

  • evidence of using the name in a professional context, such as other journal publications linked with the same ORCID, thesis, or book chapter
  • legal document showing name change (e.g. deed-poll name change certificate or other government-issued identification)
  • letter from supervisor or line-manager (on letterhead) of the research institution linked to the article (if the institution is different, evidencing either legal or common-use name change)
  • letter from any co-author of the article (on letterhead)
  • letter from a GP, accredited gender identity specialist or national gender identity clinic, addressed to the journal

While we cannot (yet!) alter existing citations, we can allow authors to have their body of published work reflect their identities, including references and citations into the future.

As this is a new initiative, we appreciate authors’ patience as we work to achieve a more inclusive professional environment.

The journal is indexed in Thompson Scientific’s Science Citation Index Expanded, Current Contents – Agriculture, Biology & Environmental Sciences, Zoological Record and BIOSIS Previews. It is also listed with Elsevier’s Scopus, CAB Abstracts (http://www.cabi.org), Google Scholar (http://scholar.google.com) and the Directory of Open Access Journals (http://www.doaj.org/).

Editorial and publishing policies are overseen by a joint management committee with representatives from both Society of Canadian Ornithologists and Birds Canada. The management committee members are as follows:

Doug Tozer, Chair

Nicola Koper

Silke Nebel

David Bradley

Richard Elliot

Junior Tremblay

  • Focus on avian conservation
  • Open access
    • Ensure your research is available to managers, non-governmental organizations, and developing countries.
  • Immediate online availability
  • Fast turn-around time – average 28 days to decision in 2015
  • Indexed by Thomson Reuters Web of Science, Scopus
  • Inexpensive author fees
    • Many universities have grants to cover costs of publishing in open-access journals. To find out if yours does, contact your library or copyright office
  • No requirement to publicly archive data
    • ACE recognizes that maintaining data privacy may be necessary for some collaborative projects or large-scale projects within which future studies are planned, thus allows authors to choose whether to publicly archive data

There is a publication fee of $800 USD for all accepted papers (Forum articles are $400 USD). Extra word fees apply if papers exceed recommended length. These fees help offset operational costs and permit open access to full text. Authors are invoiced shortly after their article is accepted. There is no charge to submit an article nor is there a processing fee. A limited number of full or partial waivers may be granted for publication of accepted papers if all authors live and work in countries with developing economies. Waivers must be arranged before submission.

Payment must be received before an article can be published. Many universities have grant programs to cover all or part of the cost of publishing in open-access journals. To find out if yours does, contact your library or copyright office.


Authors may withdraw their article at anytime prior to copy editing for a partial refund. Once the copy editing process has been initiated, no refund will be issued.

Please address any general questions regarding the fee policy or refunds to: managing_editor@ace-eco.org.