Information For Authors

We strongly encourage authors to download the INSTRUCTIONS and TEMPLATE provided below. We created these files to help you submit a stronger manuscript that better follows our journal's styling and formatting guidelines. 


                              TEMPLATE / PLANTILLA / MODÈLE





                          For download: (EnglishEspañolFrançais)



Please register a username and password, and make sure to check the box at the bottom of the registration form that allows you to register as an author.  You will then be able to sign in and navigate to the submissions portal from User Home at the top of the page.



Contributions may be in English, Spanish, or French. An abstract and keywords in at least one of the three languages is required for publication (the editorial staff will assist with translating the title, abstract, and keywords into the other languages).



All manuscripts and materials must be submitted electronically through our online submission site, preferably as a Word or WordPerfect document.

Most articles published in JCO are Research Articles or Research Notes, which present original scientific work. JCO also publishes Reviews, Conservation Reports, and Perspectives & Opinions

All articles published in JCO are peer-reviewed by at least two qualified members of the scientific community and by the JCO Editorial Board.

All submissions must:

  • Include an abstract
  • Include an introductory section that presents relevant background information
  • Reference primary sources from the scientific literature and include a Literature Cited section
  • Follow JCO formatting guidelines
  • Adhere to one of JCO’s submissions categories (described below)

Submission categories:

  • Research Notes present original scientific work, and are usually shorter contributions. They most often:
    • Involve observations 
    • Follow an Introduction-Observation(s)-Discussion format or an Introduction-Species Account(s)-Discussion format
    • Are 1–4 pages long
    • Example: First record of a bird species on a certain island


<<Please contact JCO first if you are interested in writing an article for one of the following three categories>>:

Reviews should be full-length contributions, usually between 4-8 pages long.

Conservation Reports and Perspectives & Opinions are usually shorter contributions of 1-4 pages.

  • Reviews:
    • Synthesize a broad array of scientific articles to discuss some facet of Caribbean ornithological research in a thematic, in-depth way.
    • Example: Discuss how shorebirds use tidal mudflats across the Caribbean and identify current threats or gaps in knowledge.
  • Perspectives & Opinions:
    • Address issues that pertain to Caribbean birds on a local or regional scale.
    • Examples: 
      • Discuss a proposed offshore wind farm and its potential impacts on migratory seabirds
      • Propose a research project needed to identify effective management for a specific breeding area



Publications that are 1–4 pages run a flat fee of $60. 

Publications that are 5–8 pages run a flat fee of $120. 

Additional pages are charged $15 per page. Upon author request, JCO will discuss waiving part or all of the nominal publication fees.

When prompted by the JCO Editorial Board, payment can be made here. 

The journal is published by BirdsCaribbean, a non-profit society reliant on membership dues and donations. To support the conservation mission of BirdsCaribbean and the costs of producing and maintaining this open-access journal, authors are responsible for paying article charges. Authors must agree to these charges before submitting materials. Please note that if you do not have funds to pay, you will be given the opportunity to waive the fee during the manuscript submission process. We do not want fees to prevent the publication of worthy work.



Please provide names and email addresses for 2–3 suggested reviewers upon submitting your manuscript. Please choose reviewers that can help refine and improve your manuscript.



Each corresponding author will be provided with a pdf file of the published manuscript. The open-access nature of the journal will make the author’s work freely and globally available to all interested readers.



Please conform as closely as possible to the style of the most recent issue. Submissions which do not conform closely to this format  will be returned to the author for correction.

A downloadable template in MS Word format is available here for your convenience.

Font: Times New Roman, 12 point throughout.

Spacing: Double space throughout, with one extra line at the end of each section. Use only one space after each period.

Title Page Photograph: Please submit a high quality photograph (minimum resolution: 300 dpi) for use on the title page. The photograph should be related to the content or topic of the article.

Title: Sentence case capitalization and centered, no longer than 20 words. If a vernacular bird name is used, the scientific name must be included in parentheses.

Authors: Begin one line below the title. Use superscript numbers for multiple addresses. Do not use all caps or small caps.

Addresses: Begin one line below the authors. For each author, provide their full mailing address and email address. Each email address should be preceded by the word “e-mail:”. Multiple addresses should be separated by semicolons. If multiple authors, indicate each address by a different superscript number. If an author has recently changed addresses and wishes to include both the new and old addresses, place the phrase “current address:” before the new address. Please examine the address format from any recent issue to ensure completeness and accuracy.

Abstract: All submissions must have an abstract < 5% of the manuscript’s length. Place the heading “Abstract:” at the start of the abstract. Abstracts and keywords are published in three languages (English, Spanish, and French). Submission of an abstract in two or more of these languages is encouraged if practical, but translations can also be done by the editorial staff.

Keywords: Up to seven in alphabetical order, separated by commas, and following sentence case capitalization. Place the heading “Keywords:” at the start of the list. Submission of keywords in two or more of the three languages (English, Spanish, and French) is encouraged if practical, but translations can also be done by the editorial staff.

Header: Please supply a short header (abbreviated title) of 50 characters or less for the top of the page.


The introduction should begin two lines below the Header


Section headings:

- Primary Headings should include: Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgments, and Literature Cited. Headings should be capitalized, but do not use all caps or small caps.They should be bolded, and centered. Do not use a heading at the beginning of the introduction.

- Secondary Headings: Secondary Headings should be capitalized, but do not use all caps or small caps. They should be bolded, and left aligned.

- Tertiary Subsection Headings: Tertiary Subsection headings should be capitalized, but do not use all caps or small caps. They should be indented, and italicized, followed by a period and an “em” dash, and immediately followed by the beginning of the paragraph on the same line.

Bird names: For English papers, use the official capitalized English name for each species used by the American Ornithologists' Union (North America and CaribbeanSouth America) followed by the scientific name in parenthesis, with only the English name used thereafter. For Spanish and French papers, the use of a vernacular name is optional, but should be used consistently and also capitalized.

Other organism names: The scientific name must be given the first time each vernacular name is used. Only bird common names are capitalized; common names of all other taxa should be in lower case.

Citations within text: Use author(s) and year (e.g., Smith 1990, Smith and Jones 1991); note that when two authors, the names are joined by the word “and”; if more than two authors, use the first author followed by et al. (e.g., Smith et al. 1992). List multiple citations chronologically, not alphabetically (e.g., Smith 1990, Adams 1995). If the source is not publicly available, cite the source within the text but not within the Literature Cited section and include the author’s first initial(s) (e.g., J.W. Smith pers. comm., J.W. Smith pers. obs., J.W. Smith unpubl. data, J.W. Smith in prep., J.W. Smith unpubl. ms). Avoid using footnotes.

Measurements: Use metric units (e.g., km, m, ha, g, l) with a space between value and unit (e.g., 10 m, not 10m).

Dates and times: Use continental dating (e.g., 5 March 2005) and 24-hour clock (e.g., 0835).

Spelling and punctuation: Use American English spelling and the Oxford comma.

Language: Use clear, direct language. Avoid cumbersome passive-voice constructions -- when grammatically suitable, use active voice and "I/We".

Acknowledgments: Precedes Literature Cited section.


Literature Cited:

Literature Cited section: Cite only publicly available sources. Please cite unpublished manuscripts and websites only if necessary. Please ensure that all citations are correct and match the citations within the text.


Frost, M.D., and E.B. Massiah. 2003. Observations of rare and unusual birds on Grenada. Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 16:63–65.

[Note: entire journal name should be spelled out rather than abbreviated. Use an “en” dash for ranges of numbers. Author first and middle name initials are followed by periods but with no spaces between them.]

Book or report

Raffaele, H., J. Wiley, O. Garrido, A. Keith, and J. Raffaele. 1998. A Guide to the Birds of the West Indies. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.

Chapter in book

Saliva, J.E. 2000. Status of Sooty Terns in the West Indies. Pp. 102–108 in Status and Conservation of West Indian Seabirds (E.A. Schreiber and D.S. Lee, eds.). Society of Caribbean Ornithology, Ruston, LA.

Birds of North America print account

Kirk, D.A., and M.J. Mossman. 1998. Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura). In The Birds of North America, no. 339 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Birds of the World (BOW) online species accounts (formerly Birds of North America Online, Neotropical Birds Online, Handbook of the Birds of the World, and Bird Families of the World)

Turner, A. and E. de Juana. 2020. Golden Swallow (Tachycineta euchrysea), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.


BirdLife International. 2015. Species factsheet: Dendrocygna

AOU Checklist

American Ornithologists’ Union. 1998. Check-list of North American Birds. 7th edn. American Ornithologists’ Union, Washington, DC.

Unpublished technical reports

Buurt, G. van, and A.O. Debrot. 2012. Exotic and invasive terrestrial and freshwater animal species in the Dutch Caribbean. Unpublished report no. C001/12. IMARES, Wageningen University, Den Helder, The Netherlands.



Tables:  Insert each table on a separate page after the Literature Cited section. Please use Word’s Insert Table function and do not include unnecessary spaces, tabs, returns, or any other hidden formatting within cells. Create a row of cells for each row of your table; do not use returns to create multiple rows within a single cell. Tables should be designed to fit either a single column, span both columns, or span the full height of a column when rotated 90°. Each table must be numbered (e.g., Table 1) with a short heading at the top. Footnotes must be alphabetic rather than numeric.

Table format example:

Figures:  Each figure must be in electronic form and submitted as a high resolution file (recommended minimum resolution: 300 dpi). Authors may be asked to remake low resolution figures. Each figure must be numbered (e.g., Fig. 1). A short heading for each figure must be given, with all figure headings listed on a separate page after the Literature Cited section. Figures can be embedded in the manuscript, but must also be submitted as separate files. Because figures are to be submitted separately, please use descriptive file names and indicate which file names are associated with which headers. Photographs should be accompanied by the photographer's name. Authors should also provide a cover photo or illustration (recommended width: 2,000 pixels wide) along with a short description that includes photographer name as well as date and location taken.

Appendices: Insert each appendix on a separate page after the Literature Cited section. Each appendix must be numbered (e.g., Appendix 1) with a short heading at the top. Footnotes must be alphabetic rather than numeric.



Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  • Authors have provided full names and email contact information for 3 potential reviewers
  • Authors have provided a high resolution cover photo as a separate attachment
  • All Figures have been uploaded as separate, high-resolution files
  • Authors acknowledge the relevant article charges as described in the Author Guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines:
  • The article submission file is in Microsoft Word format


Copyright Notice

Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgment of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.


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