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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.
  • All authors have read and accepted the manuscript.
  • This manuscript has not been previously published and has not been sent to another publication.
  • I have read and followed the author guidelines.

Author Guidelines


At first submission, there are no strict formatting requirements for text files. Ordinary Research articles and Reviews have a maximum of 10,000 words for the whole manuscript including references, tables and figure captions. Make sure to carefully complete all manuscript and author information in the submission system.

At first submission, please include the following information: 

Cover page: Title, authors, affiliations, addresses, and e-mail addresses.

Abstract & keywords: Abstract should be on a separate page, consisting of one paragraph of up to 250 words, with maximum of 5 keywords. All relevant keywords should be also included in the title and the abstract.

Main text & subsections: Include 1. Introduction, 2. Material and methods, 3. Results, 4. Discussion, and References. Subheadings can be used (e.g., 2.1. Study area). Please number the pages and use line numbers.

The manuscript should be written in English (consistent use of either UK or US spelling). The text of a manuscript should be typed without special style settings (unindented, no boldface, capitalization, multiple spaces or other unusual formatting). Use 1.5 or double spacing between lines. A blank line should be used to separate headings, sections and paragraphs from the text that follows.

Figure and tables: Place figures and tables on separate pages (one figure/table per page) after references or embedded in their preferred places in the text. Insert captions on the same page immediately before the figures/tables themselves. In the text, refer to each table as Table and each figure as Fig., followed by their number. After acceptance, please send all figures and tables as separate files (not embedded in the text – see further instructions below).

Statistical guidelines: Formulate with sufficient detail any statistical model. Make sure that it makes biological sense, i.e., parameters to be estimated provide quantitative and straightforward answers to the questions of interest. If not obvious, justify your choice of model. Distinguish model parameters (to be estimated), random effects (to be integrated out; mixed models) and variables (data).

Describe the scale of the variables (e.g., continuous, discrete, ordinal, categorical), and their role in the analysis (e.g., response/dependent, or explanatory/independent). Describe the study design, such as replication, and make sure sample size is reported.

Always report the biologically relevant effect sizes. Complement point estimates with estimates of uncertainty, such as standard errors. Confidence/credibility intervals are encouraged for parameters of interest.

In frequentist applications, make sure that any null hypotheses to be tested are biologically feasible. Do not report “naked p-values” without associated effect sizes. Do not imply lack of effect from a non-significant null hypothesis test, but appreciate the possibility for lack of power.

Explain how the model was fitted (e.g., least squares, ML, REML, MCMC), and give reference to the software used.

Avoid unnecessary problems of multiple testing and overfitting. Include in your models only the most relevant and biologically justified explanatory variables, interactions, polynomial terms, etc. In applications where extensive multiple testing is done for clearly exploratory purposes, consider using corrections for significance levels, such as Bonferroni or false discovery rate.

In model selection, acknowledge the risk for biased statistical significances in cases where a large number of initial variables are refined to a “reduced model” (e.g., stepwise procedures). Consider consulting only a small number of a priori defined biologically sensible models, rather than all possible subsets of explanatory variables.

Supplementary material: It is possible to publish online only supplementary material when neccessary (e.g. extended methods or results) and agreed with the editor. Please include supplementary material as separate files from the main text.

Review process: All manuscripts within the scope of the journal are reviewed by at least two reviewers. Authors will generally be notified of provisional acceptance or rejection within three months. The author(s) should consider all suggestions proposed by the referees and the editor, and make appropriate changes. Major changes presuppose a new review process. The editor retains the right to modify the style and length of a manuscript; for major changes the author(s) will be consulted.

At submission, authors are encouraged to give the names and e-mail addresses of two suitable reviewers, with whom the authors have had no collaboration or joint publications within the last five years. You can include them in the Comments for the Editor section during submission.



After acceptance, the following Ornis Fennica formatting guidelines should be stricly followed. As we are non-profit and there are no publication fees, we expect authors to do their best in formatting the manuscript. Before sending in the final version of the revised manuscript, please see the Final Stage Checklist in the end of the Author Guidelines.

Numbering: Number all pages, starting with the title page (page one). Use line numbering (continuous), if available in your word processor.

Italics: Use italics only for scientific names of species (e.g., Periparus ater), words that are originally not English (e.g., in vitro, et al.), and Roman mathematical symbols (do not italicise Greek letters).

Species names: Use capital initial letters for each word in species names of birds. Using species names in English is encouraged, but on the first mention of a species in the abstract and in the text, give the scientific name in a parenthesis after the common name, e.g., Coal Tit (Periparus ater).

Use English and scientific names as presented in Dickinson, E. C. (ed.) 2003: The Howard and Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World: Third Edition. — Princeton University Press. 1056 pp.

Title: Capitalize only the words that are capitalized elsewhere in the text. Give, apart from the full title, also a running title of maximally 80 characters including spaces.

Author information: Always provide full first name, followed by initial(s) of other name(s), if any, and surname (e.g., James T. Brown). Indicate clearly which author is responsible for the correspondence relating to the manuscript. Include affiliation and contact information (postal address and e-mail address) for all of the authors.

Abstract & keywords: Place abstract (one paragraph, max. 250 words) and keywords (max. 5) on a separate page. Abstract should be informative (summarising) rather than indicative (listing). All relevant keywords should be also included in the title and the abstract. If possible, please provide a short summary of the study in Finnish or Swedish.

Headings of chapters: 1. Introduction, 2. Material and methods, 3. Results, 4. Discussion and other main headings are numbered decimally starting with 1. (Abstract, References and Acknowledgements, are not numbered). Subheadings must be numbered e.g., 1.1., 1.1.1. and so on, depending on how many levels of sub-chapters you have in your article. No more than three levels (e.g., 1.1.1.) is enouraged for clarity.

Referring to literature in the text (examples): Mihok et al. (1985) or (Mihok et al. 1985). Kurtén and Anderson (1980) or (Kurtén & Anderson 1980). (Kurtén & Anderson 1980, Mihok et al. 1985).

When referring to more than one publication, arrange them using the following keys: 1. year of publication (ascending), 2. alphabetical order for the same year of publication.

Referring to tables and figures in the text: Tables are referred to as “Table” and figures as “Fig.”, followed by their number.

Lists: Begin each item with a single hyphen-dash “-” in the beginning of the line followed by one space. Each item always occupies a separate line e.g.: – first item, – second item.

Equations: Each equation occupies a separate line. Indicate its number on the right-hand side e.g.:

N = 0.3W ln(a + b)


In the text, equations are referred to as “Eq.”. For complicated equations, only Microsoft Word’s or MathType’s Equation Editor can be used. If possible, also provide complicated equations as scalable pdf or high-resolution bitmap files.

References: Begin with the heading “References”; they must have the same format as the text. Journal names are written in full. Each reference must be separated from the next one with one blank line. Always include DOI and URL codes when possible.

Ordinary journal article:
Järvinen, O. & Väisänen, R.A. 1978: Long-term changes of the most abundant south Finnish forest birds during the past 50 years. — Journal of Ornithology 119: 441–449.

Kurtén, B. & Anderson, E. 1980: Pleistocene mammals of North America. — Columbia Univ. Press, New York.
Clutton-Brock, T.H. (ed.) 1988: Reproductive Success. — University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Chapter in a publication:
Burnham, K.P. 1993: A theory for the combined analysis of ring recovery and recapture data. — In Marked individuals in the study of bird populations (ed. Lebreton, J.-D. & North, P.M): 199–213. Birkh user, Basel.

Non-English publications:
Use Latin symbols for the author’s name. Use translated title only if given in the original publication. State within parentheses the original language and indicate presence of an English summary:

Okulewicz, J. 1989: Breeding biology and ecology of the Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus) in the region of Milicz fish pond area. — Ptaki Slaska 7: 1–39. (In Polish with English summary)

Glutz von Blotzheim, U.N. & Bauer, K.M. 1997: Handbuch der Vogel Mitteleuropas, vol. 14. — AULA Verlag, Wiesbaden. (In German)

Article in press may be included in the references list, with “(in press)” instead of the year of publication.

Material in preparation or unpublished cannot be included in the reference list, and can only be referred to in the text using all authors’ initial(s) and name(s) followed by “in prep.”, “unpubl.” or “pers. comm.”.

Figure and table captions: After acceptance, figures and tables are provided as separate files, not embedded into the main text file. But, all captions should be gathered in the end of the main text document. Captions should be clearly numbered and separated by a blank line. Concisely describe the content of the figures and tables.

Tables: Make sure tables have self-explanatory headings. Tables must fit an A4 page (upright). However, please note that Ornis Fennica is printed in B5 format with maximum width of 142 mm (font Arial, size 8 pt). Tables should be provided in basic table format (i.e. as Word or Excel files). Do not use vertical lines as dividers, only horizontally lines are allowed. Please see examples of the table formatting in previously published Ornis Fennica articles. 

Figures and drawings: Plan your figures and drawings to suit the journal's standard widths 69, 107 or 142 mm and provide them in high-quality format (e.g., scalable, minimum of 300 dpi). Relate the font size, the thickness of lines, and the size of other parts of a figure, to the size of the figure itself in order to make sure that figure is intelligible. Arial as the font is preferred in all figures (with minimum font size of 7–8 pt in the final extent). Standard line width is 0.5–1 pt. Explain all graphic symbols within the figure in the caption. Identify parts of a composite figure with letters, not numbers. Do not use fine rasters for filling of columns or areas. Only solid (white and/or black) or line-type fillings should be used. Avoid fancy design (e.g., 3-D). In maps, include a map legend, a scale bar, a north arrow, and a location map (or coordinate information). Figures produced using a computer program should be provided in PDF (or other high-quality) format with all fonts included. Scalable (vector) format is strongly encouraged in all figures if possible. Generally accepted file formats are PDF, PNG, JPG, TIFF, SVG, AI, EPS. Graphics made in Excel/Word/PowerPoint are accepted as Excel/Word/PowerPoint files. Scanned figures should be bitmap files in the file formats TIFF or JPG, resolution at least 1,000 dpi.

Photographs: Photos are printed in black-and-white, but can be in colour in the PDF offprints. You can send paper copies on glossy paper or slides in regular mail. However, scanned photographs are preferred – they should have the resolution 300 dpi (grayscale or RGB) and be adjusted to the standard widths 69, 107 or 142 mm. Digital camera pictures should be sent as JPG files in colour, file size preferably 2–4 megabytes.


Please check from the final version, that references and files are in correct format, and that there are no grammatical or other errors. You may add acknowledgements and author contributions in the manuscript file now. Please also check that all article and author information is up to date in the submission system.

At the final stage, you should have one text document including in the following order:

  • Full title, running title (max. 80 characters), abstract (max. 250 words) and keywords (max. 5)
  • All authors’ information (names, affiliations, e-mail addresses, postal addresses)
  • Main text with numbered titles
  • (Acknowledgements)
  • (Author contributions)
  • (A short Finnish or Swedish summary)
  • References (including DOI and URL codes)
  • Figure and table captions

All the figures and tables (and supplementary files if necessary) should be provided in separate files, following the technical requirements given above.

Accepted articles will be advertised on Ornis Fennica social media accounts, for which the authors can provide a photo to increase media visibility.

The authors will be sent a galley proof for inspection and last corrections through the submission system. Commented proof should be sent back as soon as possible in the same discussion thread. Only neccessary technical changes can be made at this point. The editors reserve the right to do changes concerning grammar or shortening the titles.

The authors can get the author copy in PDF form through the publishing forum of the journal.

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