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Author guidelines

The Catalan Journal of Ornithology (RCO) publishes original research articles on any ornithological topic, but special emphasis is placed on papers using ringing. Reviews or theoretical articles will also be considered, with the aim of promoting discussions about methodology, techniques and other related subjects. Papers on new records of species or abnormalities (e.g. albinism, malformations, etc.) will be accepted if they include a comprehensive review of the species and/or have additional biological implications. Papers containing descriptions of experiments with birds will be accepted only if the procedures used are clearly described and designed according to ethical norms and fulfil all existing legal requirements. In addition, referees are invited to express any ethical concerns regarding animal experimentation. No manuscript submitted to the RCO can be submitted to any other journal until the editor has given the author(s) a decision.

Manuscripts will be submitted as electronic files to:, The preferred format is a document in RTF or DOC, including all text, tables and figures in a single file.

Once received, the submitted manuscript will be assigned to an editor. All the manuscripts will be peer-reviewed by experts, and authors may suggest potential reviewers. Once reviewed, manuscripts will be given back to the authors along with commentaries and questions arisen by the reviewers. Manuscripts that are accepted on condition of revision must be returned to the editor along with a reply letter, in which the authors must explain in detail all changes carried out in the manuscript. Once accepted, authors will receive print proofs of their articles to correct any error. Published material cannot be reproduced elsewhere without quoting its origin. A free electronic copy of the article in PDF format will be supplied to the authors. All articles will be published in open access in the web page of the journal. Publishing in the RCO is free of charge for the authors.


The text should be written concisely and clearly. They may be written in English, Catalan or Spanish. Authors are encouraged to send their contributions in English. The RCO provides a free service of English editing by a professional native speaker specialized in scientific publications in the accepted articles.

All sections, excluding the introduction, must be preceded by a heading in bold. Second-level headings will be in italics. Pages and lines must be numbered.

When referring to a species for the first time, be it in the abstract or the main text, both common and scientific names must be given (e.g. the Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava). In subsequent citations only the common name should be used. All common names of birds should have initial capital letters, whereas those of any other organisms should be named entirely in lower case. Subspecific identity should not be given unless pertinent. Place names should either be in their local form or in the language of the manuscript, and the same criterion must be followed throughout the work. Numbers one to ten should be written in full in the text except for measurements (e.g. five birds, 3 km, 5 cm). Footnotes should always be avoided. Please use the following dating form: 25 January 2001; 1-20 July 1999; 25 May to 15 June. Please use the 24-hour clock: 12:00 h; 14:15 h; 12:15-13:25. The International System of Units should be used throughout.

Whenever possible, please avoid the citation of personal communications and unpublished reports. References must be presented in accordance with the following examples:

“... according to Arcos (2001) ...”
“... has been defined by Margalida & Bertran (2000) ...”
“... the studies that have been carried out (Carrera 1986, Oro et al. 1997b, Herrando 1998, Carrera 2000, 2001) ...”

Manuscripts should be organized and sent in the following order: (1) Title page; (2) Text; (3) Tables;
and (4) Figures.


The title page should be composed as described below:

Title. The title must be concise, but should clearly indicate the contents of the study.

Subtitle. Add a short title covering the subject that you are dealing with in your article (no more than 40 characters including spaces). This title will be used as a brief title on the page headings.

Names of authors. Write the full name of each author as it is to appear in the journal, with each author separated by a comma.

Abstract. This must be in English, no longer than 250 type-written words, and summarise the contents of the article (introduction, material, methods, results, discussion and conclusions).

Key words. Six words should indicate the content of the manuscript, in the following order: common name; scientific name; research topic; and geographical area.

Address. Please provide name, address and e-mail for the author/s.

Address contact. In multi-authored papers, the author responsible for correspondence should be indicated. Please provide an e-mail address for the corresponding author.


The main text should be composed as described below:

Introduction. The introduction should convey an idea of the historical background of the subject, as well as the aims of the work. This section has no heading.

Material and methods. This section should include relevant information on the species studied, the materials used, the methods for collecting and analysing data, and the study area, in order that the significance of the results can be suitably interpreted and replicated.

Results. Only those results obtained from the work that have not previously been published should be presented.

Discussion. The results and their comparison with related works are to be discussed. Suggestions for future research may be offered at the end of this section.

Acknowledgements. These may include persons or organizations that have collaborated, in any way, in the study.

Catalan/Spanish summaries (optional). All articles will have a summary both in Catalan and Spanish. This summary will be a translation of the English abstract. They will be headed by the translated title of the article. For authors not familiar with Catalan and/or Spanish, the journal will translate the summary into both languages.

References. They must be set out in alphabetical order of author, and chronologically for each author, adding the letters a, b, c... as appropriate, when dealing with different works by the same author from the same year. References should be listed following these models:
  • Borràs, A., Cabrera, T., Cabrera, J. & Senar, J.C. 2003. The diet of the Citril Finch (Serinus citrinella) in the Pyrenees and the role of Pine seeds as a key resource. J. Ornithol. 144:345–353.
  • Clavell, J. 2002. Catàleg dels ocells dels Països Catalans. Bellaterra: Lynx Edicions.
  • Curcó, A. & Estrada, J. 1999. Distribución y abundancia en Cataluña. In Herranz, J. & Suárez, F. (eds.): La Ganga Ibérica (Pterocles alchata) y la Ganga Ortega (Pterocles orientalis) en España.Distribución, abundancia, biología y conservación. Pp. 55–61. Madrid: Colección Técnica. Ministerio de Medio Ambiente.

Journal titles should be abbreviated according to international standards. If in doubt, please give the title in full.


The same type-size should be as in the main text. Vertical lines should not be used. Tables must be isolated from the text on separate pages, and they should be numbered and referred to according to their sequence in the text. Captions of tables must be clear, concise, and written both in English and Catalan. If necessary, this translation will be done by the editors.


Figures (graphs or drawings) must be presented on separate pages and must be numbered and referred to according to the order of their appearance in the text. Figures will be published exactly as presented by the authors, so they should be submitted in a high resolution. Figure width may be 6.6 cm (one column), or 15.6 cm (two columns). Exceptionally, the journal may publish photographs; they should be submitted on high-resolution (min. 300 ppi) EPS, JPG or TIF format.
Figure legends should be clear and concise, and must be written both in English and Catalan (in italics); if necessary, translation to Catalan will be done by the editors.


These manuscripts follow the same procedure as articles and can have the same headings. Short Notes include papers shorter than five printed pages. As a guide, this generally includes manuscripts of less than 10 pages, including references, tables and figures. In terms of the review process, the norms of edition are the same as those for articles. The abstract should be of a maximum of 150 words.


This section of the journal is designed to stimulate scientific debate and can include literature reviews, reviews based on historical data, reports and papers offering critical discussion, new points of view, ideas, and hypotheses or unconventional perspectives of current issues in ornithology, bird management or conservation, possibly based on recent publications in these fields.
There may be two other contributions to this section. One includes papers explaining analytical techniques, designs of laboratory and field equipment, computer software or unusual observations on any topics of interest to ornithologists. Letters to the Editor may expand explanations, provide new analyses or other comments or constructive criticism on material previously published in this journal or, occasionally, other journals.
Proposals of papers for this section should be discussed with the Editor-in-Chief. Authors interested should first send a one-paragraph proposal (less than 400 words) to the Editor before preparing a detailed draft.
All kinds of manuscripts in this section are subject to peer review except the Letters to the Editor. Any letter challenging published results or interpretations will be transmitted to the author of the published work, with an invitation to respond. The letter and its response will be published simultaneously. The decision to publish submitted letters rests entirely with the Editor-in-Chief, who judges the appropriateness of the subject and its possible interest for readers.

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