About the Journal
Journal of Caribbean Ornithology (JCO) is a refereed scientific journal, produced by the non-profit society BirdsCaribbean. The journal has now served as an important resource for ornithological research in the Caribbean for over 32 years.
The Journal of Caribbean Ornithology is a peer-reviewed journal covering all aspects of ornithology within the Caribbean region (including Bermuda, the Bahamas, and all islands within the Caribbean basin). We welcome manuscripts covering the biology, ecology, behavior, life history, and conservation of Caribbean birds and their habitats. We also publish first-time avian records, novel behavioral observations, natural history studies, conservation management plans, and on-the-ground advocacy work. Submission categories include Research Articles, Research Notes, Reviews, Conservation Reports, and Perspectives & Opinions.
In 1988, Dr. James (Jim) W. Wiley conceived and published the first issue of El Pitirre, a newsletter for the Society for the Study of Caribbean Ornithology (now BirdsCaribbean). He went on to serve as Editor-in-Chief for the first 17 volumes—an incredible feat—and in the process, grew the newsletter into a peer-reviewed research journal well-respected across the Caribbean.
Volume 16 (2003) marked the end of the El Pitirre name and the birth of Journal of Caribbean Ornithology. 2004 would mark Wiley’s final year, wrapping up his tenure with Volume 17. Dr. Jerome (Jerry) A. Jackson tagged in as a co-Editor-in-Chief with Dr. Floyd Hayes for Volume 18 (2005), with Floyd taking the reins from there. In 2006, Martín Acosta Cruz came aboard as co-Editor-in-Chief, overseeing manuscripts coming out of Cuba. Two years later, Floyd recruited Douglas Weidemann, a biology student out of Pacific Union College, to serve as an Editorial Assistant. Doug has been with the journal ever since and is the only member of our current staff who was there to watch JCO transition from paper to the digital world in 2014. In his 11+ year tenure, Doug has been instrumental in keeping JCO moving forward as the leading ornithological publication in the Caribbean.
Floyd and Martín would continue serving as Editors-in-Chief for the next eight volumes of JCO. In 2014 (Volume 27), Dr. Jason Townsend stepped into the Editor-in-Chief position, and shepherded JCO into a productive chapter that included transitioning the journal to open-access and onto an online academic publishing site, as well as growing the JCO team with new staff and new positions. When Jason created and advertised a Managing Editor position in 2016, Justin Proctor jumped at the opportunity to become involved. He has spent his time with JCO helping expand the journal’s publication capacity, improving timeliness of publication, and developing resources for burgeoning authors. Dr. Joseph M. Wunderle came onboard as Editor-in-Chief of the journal in 2020, and looks forward to ushering JCO into a new decade of success!
Journal of Caribbean Ornithology is committed to working with and giving voice to the entire Caribbean ornithological community, as well as those beyond the region that equally share our passion for Caribbean birds, their habitats, and the peoples and cultures that share these islands.
JCO takes pride in our mission to extend help and developmental resources to young, first-time, and/or underserved or disadvantaged authors. Many of our authors are burgeoning students and researchers, are not native English speakers, and have limited access to resources for conducting their work and then developing it for publication. JCO recognizes these obstacles, but will not allow them to be a barrier to publishing good work.
While JCO staff and volunteers strive to be efficient and timely in our work, we are not as concerned about achieving record-breaking publication times for manuscripts as we are about allotting the time and resources necessary to fully develop a strong final product. Each manuscript we receive is unique, and we will treat it as such. Therefore, JCO’s amount of “handling time” per manuscript should be interpreted as a reflection of the effort we and the authors have collectively invested into that manuscript.
Peer Review Process
All manuscripts are sent to 2-3 reviewers who are asked to judge the suitability of the material for publication in JCO.
Manuscripts are evaluated on the following basis:
* soundness and defensibiliy of the observations and/or experiments
* suitable contribution to Caribbean ornithology
* whether the topic is appropriate for the journal's focus
* clarity of writing
Open Access Policy
This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.