The Journal of Raptor Research (JRR) publishes original research reports and review articles about the biology of diurnal and nocturnal birds of prey. All submissions must be in English, but contributions from anywhere in the world are welcome. Manuscripts are considered with the understanding that they have not been published, submitted or accepted for publication elsewhere. Manuscripts are subjected to peer review for evaluation of their significance and soundness, and edited to improve communication between authors and readers. Decisions of the editor are final.

Material is published as feature articles, short communications (usually not longer than four printed pages), and letters (see recent issue of the JRR for examples). Submissions that adhere closely to the JRR's format greatly enhance the efficiency and cost of the editorial and publishing processes. Author's efforts in this regard are deeply appreciated by the editorial staff.

The Journal of Raptor Research uses electronic submission and peer-review to provide rapid decisions and rapid publication. All manuscripts must be submitted online through the PeerTrack system at New authors will need to establish an account on PeerTrack and should follow instructions for first-time users. Those who have reviewed a manuscript for JRR on PeerTrack already have an account and should use their assigned username and password to login. All queries regarding the use of the website may be directed to the editorial office at journalof

Manuscript revisions must be returned to the editor within 60 days. Manuscripts held longer will lose their priority and may be treated as new submissions. Revisions must include a point-by-point "response to reviewers" document; the PeerTrack system will not allow submission of a revision without this file. The editor should be notified if extenuating circumstances prevent a timely return of the manuscript.

Authors will receive proofs of their articles prior to publication. Proofs must be read carefully to correct any printer errors and returned within two days of receipt TO THE EDITOR at Changes in typeset text are expensive and authors making changes, not due to printer error, will be billed for the costs ($3.50 U.S per change). Corresponding authors will be sent a pdf of their published article.

Publication is expensive and member dues do not cover the entire cost of producing the JRR. Hence, the Raptor Research Foundation, Inc. expects that authors defray the high costs of publication through payment of page costs (currently $115.00 U.S. per page; $450 extra per color illustration). Authors who are not associated with a research institution or who do not have access to such grants, institutional, or personal funds for publication, may request a partial or complete waiver of page charges. Such a request can only be approved if the author is a member of RRF and the article is short. Charges for color illustrations cannot be waived. Authors of long manuscripts are expected to pay publishing costs. It is unlikely that articles longer than 10 printed pages in the journal, including tables and illustrations, can be published without full payment. Invoices will be issued through PeerTrack after the proof corrections have been made. Payments should be made within 30 days. All checks should be made payable to the Raptor Research Foundation, Inc. All personal payments toward publication costs are tax deductible in the United States.

Research involving animals must be conducted in compliance with all federal laws, state/province laws, and institutional permits and guidelines. Authors must provide the permit/license numbers under which their research was conducted, as well as the names of the institutional or other review committees that have approved the research, in the Acknowledgments section of the manuscript. In papers with reported research that did not require permits or institutional review, authors must signify this in the Acknowledgments section.

I. General Instructions

(Consult recent issues for additional guidance on format)

  • Submit your manuscript in Word.

  • Follow all formatting guidelines. Double-space your manuscript throughout, including title page, text, tables, literature cited, and figure captions. Use a 12-point font, preferably Times New Roman, with 1″ margins. Format with line numbers if possible. Do not use right justification—leave right margin ragged.

  • Use active voice.

  • Give the scientific name at the first mention of a species, both in the abstract and in the article. Scientific names of birds should follow the usage of the AOU Check-list of North American Birds (Seventh Ed. 1998 and subsequent supplements in the Auk) or an authoritative source corresponding to other geographic regions such as BirdLife International. Do not give subspecific identification unless it is pertinent. Capitalize first letter of words in complete common names for birds. Use lower case for all other common names.

  • Use American spelling and Merriam-Webster's 11th Collegiate Dictionary (2008, Merriam-Webster, Inc.) as a spelling authority.

  • Use italic font for addresses, scientific names, third level headings, and some abbreviations (see below).

  • Cite each figure and table in the text. Do not repeat material in two forms (i.e., in text and table, or table and figure). Organize text, as far as possible, so that tables and figures are cited in numerical order.

  • Use “Figure” only to start a sentence; otherwise “Fig.” if singular, “Fig.” if plural (e.g., Fig. 1; Fig. 2, 3; Fig. 4–6).

  • Use metric units throughout.

  • Use these abbreviations without spelling out: hr, min, sec, yr, mo, wk, d, km, cm, mm; designate temperature as 32°C.

  • Italicize the following abbreviations: n, P, F, G, k, R, r2, ttest, U-test, Z, z. Use Roman type for these abbreviations: AIC, ANOVA, CI, df, SD, SE, χ2.

  • Use “continental” dating (e.g., 10 July 2012, 1–3 June, 11 May to 11 June).

  • Use 24-hour clock (e.g., 0800 H, 1345–1400 H)

  • Write out numbers one to nine unless a measurement (e.g., four birds, 3 km, 40 sites, 6 yr). Use 1000 and 10,000; 0.15 instead of .15; % instead of percent.

  • Each reference cited in text must be listed in the Literature Cited section, and vice versa. Double check the accuracy of all entries—THE EDITORIAL STAFF CANNOT DO THIS FOR YOU.

  • Literature citations in the text for articles, short communications, and letters are as follows:

    • One author—Jones (1993) or (Jones 1993)

    • Two authors—Smith and Jones (1991) or (Smith and Jones 1991)

    • Three or more authors—Hernandez et al. (1990) or (Hernandez et al. 1990)

    • Manuscripts accepted for publication but not yet published—Howard (in press) or (Howard in press)

    • Unpublished materials—K. Jacobson (unpubl. data); (K. Jacobson pers. comm.); or K. Jacobson (pers. comm.)—do not place in the Literature Cited section.

    • When citing several references within parentheses, separate with commas and put in chronological order, oldest first).

  • Assemble manuscripts for regular articles in this order: (1) title page, (2) abstract, (3) text, (4) tables, (5) figure captions, (6) figures.

  • Avoid any unnecessary or special formatting.

II. Title Page

  • Place the title, author's name(s) with affiliations and addresses, and the corresponding author's email address and phone number on the title page. For feature articles, add a running title (short title) not to exceed 35 characters. If the author(s) is/are currently at another location from where the work was done, use superscript number(s) following author's name(s) to indicate current address in footnote at the bottom of the page. In multiauthored papers, indicate the author responsible for correspondence and requests for reprints.

III. Abstract/summary

  • For regular articles and Short Communications, include an abstract of about 250 words in one paragraph that is completely without reference to the text. Be concise, include the paper's purpose, but emphasize the results. Statements like “results will be discussed” are not appropriate. The abstract will also be published in Spanish. Authors fluent in both languages are encouraged to include both versions; otherwise, the JRR will provide the Spanish translation.

  • Include five to seven key words for indexing after the abstract.

  • Avoid citing references in the abstract. If they must be cited, include journal name, volume, pages, and year, all in parentheses.

IV. Text

  • Follow instructions in section I.

  • Main headings are all capital letters and flush with left margin.

  • Typical main headings for regular articles are: INTRODUCTION, METHODS, RESULTS, and DISCUSSION.

  • Put second-level headings in bold. Use normal indentation and capitalize first letter of each word in the second-level headline except prepositions and articles.

  • Put third-level headings in italics. Capitalize first letter of first word only.

  • Short communications and letters may or may not have headings within the text depending upon the need.

V. Literature Cited

  • Type references in capital and lower-case letters, including all authors' names.

  • Put space between initials. Initials of second, third, and following authors precede their surnames.

  • In multi-authored works, put a comma after each author's name except the last.

  • The year of publication in parentheses follows the name of the last author.

  • Capitalize complete common names for birds only in titles.

  • Journal names should be in roman font.

  • Do not abbreviate journal names. Do not delete a leading “The” from journal names, except if the name begins with “Journal.”

  • Include DOI information only if the article is in press or can only be located using the DOI.


    Henny, C. J., and M. S. Martell (2017). Satellite-tagged Osprey nearly sets longevity record and productivity response to initial captures. Journal of Raptor Research 52:180–183.

  • Book titles should be capitalized. Books and chapters in books should be formatted following these examples:

    Burnham, K. P., and D. R. Anderson (2002). Model Selection and Multimodel Inference: A Practical Information–Theoretic Approach. Springer, New York, NY, USA.

    Bloom, P. H., W. S. Clark, and J. W. Kidd (2007). Capture techniques. In Raptor Research and Management Techniques (D. M. Bird and K. L. Bildstein, Editors). Hancock House Publishers Ltd, Surrey, BC, Canada, and Blaine, WA, USA. pp. 193–220.

  • Online sources should be cited if necessary and listed in the Literature Cited. Include author(s), appropriate “title” of website, publisher or sponsor of website and the website address. Be sure the website address is current. Examples:

    Sauer, J. R., D. K. Niven, J. E. Hines, D. J. Ziolkowski, Jr., K. L. Pardieck, J. E. Fallon, and W. A. Link (2017). The North American Breeding Bird Survey, results and analysis 1966–2015. Version 2.07.2017. USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, MD, USA.

    Dykstra, C. R., J. L. Hays, and S. T. Crocoll (2020). Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (A. F. Poole, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.

  • Government and unpublished reports should be formatted following this example:

    US Fish and Wildlife Service (2009). Final Environmental Assessment: Proposal to Permit Take Provided Under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. US Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC, USA.

  • For works with more than 12 authors, list the first 11, then insert a comma, then insert et al.

  • Verify all entries against original sources including diacritical marks and spelling in languages other than English.

  • Do not use periods in abbreviations (e.g., USA, USFWS, USDA).

  • “In press” citations must have been accepted for publication and must include date, volume number, and the names of the journal or publisher.

  • Cite references in alphabetical order by the first author's surname. List works by the same author(s) chronologically, beginning with the oldest. References by a single author precede multi-authored works by the same senior author regardless of date. Multi-author references by the same senior author are ordered alphabetically by the second author's surname (or the third author's surname if first and second authors are the same, etc).

  • If two citations have the same author(s) and year, list the references alphabetically by title, then assign the first one the letter “a” after the year, and the second one the letter “b” after the year, and so on. Examples:

    Link, W. A., and J. R. Sauer (1998a). Estimating population change from count data: Application to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Ecological Applications 8:258–268.

    Link, W. A., and J. R. Sauer (1998b). Estimating relative abundance from count data. Austrian Journal of Statistics 27:83–97.

  • If two or more citations have the same author(s), spell out the names in the regular manner. Do not use the 3-em dash as a stand-in to repeat names.

VI. Tables

  • Format tables using the Table function in Word.

  • Put each table on a separate page.

  • Double space throughout. Assign each table an Arabic number followed by a period.

  • Table headings should be formatted in large and small capital letters.

  • Use same size font and font style as in text.

  • Indicate footnotes by lowercase superscript letters.

  • Do not use vertical lines. Use horizontal lines above and below the main headings and at the bottom of the table, but not within the table.

VII. Figure Captions

  • Print all figure captions on one page, double spaced.

  • Number using Arabic numbers consecutively in the same order the figures appear in the text (i.e., Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.).

VIII. Preparation of Illustrations

Illustrations are referred to as figures and include drawings, graphs, and black and white photographs. Note that color illustrations incur an additional cost.

  • Use professional standards in preparing figures; their reproduction in the JRR is virtually identical to what is submitted. Consult issues of JRR for examples.

  • Plan figures to fit proportions in the JRR, preferably for a single column—printed size is 72 mm for single column width, 148 mm for full page width or 195 mm for lengthwise figures. Figures should be submitted no smaller than the final size nor larger than twice the final size.

  • If using a map, include a scale and a compass rose or north arrow.

  • All graphics and images should be scanned at a minimum resolution of 300 pixels per inch (ppi). Line art should be scanned at 1200 ppi. Low resolution figures or graphics are not acceptable.

  • Figure text must be a plain typeface (e.g., Helvetica), not compressed, and large enough so that it will be as large as the text type (8–10 point) when in print.

  • Photographs must be sharp, high-contrast, and approximately the size that they will appear in print. If several photographs are to be included in one figure, group them butted together with no space between.

  • Use the same style of lettering and presentation for all figures. Capitalize each word of axes' titles except prepositions and articles.

Failure to adhere to formatting guidelines may result in manuscript rejection.

IX. Submission

All manuscripts must be submitted through PeerTrack, at

Submit your manuscript as a Word file, not a pdf. The submission may include all text, tables and figures in a single file (“manuscript” file) or figures and tables may be uploaded as separate files. Your cover letter may also be uploaded as a separate file. Supplementary materials for online publication only may be uploaded to PeerTrack or sent directly to the Editor. After all files have been uploaded, your manuscript will be converted to a pdf file, and you will be asked to approve the pdf. Please check your pdf carefully to ensure that all symbols, equations, figures, etc. have converted properly. After you approve the pdf, you will receive an automatic email confirmation if the manuscript has been submitted properly. If you do not receive this email, please return to PeerTrack and ensure that the submission process was completed. If you have any problems with your submission, you may contact the Editor.

You will receive information about rejection or acceptance of your manuscript by email from the Editor or an Associate Editor. If revisions are requested, manuscript reviews will be available through PeerTrack, and you will have 60 days to complete your revision. Instructions for submitting your revision are included in your decision email. If you need more time to complete your revision, please correspond with the Editor or Associate Editor handling your manuscript.

Authors may purchase immediate Open Access for their articles for $1250 (RRF members) or $1500 (non-members); contact the Editor for information. Authors are encouraged to post their articles on their own or their institution's website after the article is published online; the posted version must be the final published pdf.

  • Contact the Editor:

  • Cheryl Dykstra, Ph.D.

  • Raptor Environmental

  • 7280 Susan Springs Drive

  • West Chester, OH 45069-3696 U.S.A.


  • Telephone: (513) 779-1744