Guidelines to contributors of Indian BIRDS
  • Indian BIRDS publishes, original papers, articles, notes, and comments about birds and birdwatching with an emphasis on South Asian birds (South Asia: Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, The Maldives, and the Chagos Archipelago). Submissions, only in English, will be considered for publication.
  • We welcome articles on behaviour, ecology, conservation, counts and censuses (particularly those covering multiple years), identification, annotated checklists, trip reports, new records, book reviews, reviews of audio recordings, letters, announcements, notices, news from the birding world, etc.
  • Authors proposing reviews of published material should first discuss this with the editor []. All manuscripts should be easy to read and comprehend. Manuscripts may be edited for length, content, and style, and be sent to referees when appropriate. The editor will discuss contributions with authors and advise on modifications.
  • Submission is considered on the condition that papers are previously unpublished, have not been offered simultaneously elsewhere, and that all contributors have read and approved the content.
  • The editor will acknowledge manuscript contributions, and assign them a unique registration number, which latter must be quoted in correspondence. Papers are peer-reviewed, although the editor reserves the right to reject one without a review.
  • Ethical considerations: Contributors are directed to the British Ornithologists’ Union policy on the ethics of ornithological research ( Submitted work must comply with the spirit of this policy.

Preparation and submission of manuscripts

  • Structure of manuscripts submitted should generally follow the normal convention of scientific manuscripts (e.g., Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgments, References) with the replacement or addition of sections allowed in between the Introduction and Acknowledgments. Shorter notes may loosely follow the same arrangement, but without the sub-headings.
  • All manuscript submissions must include an abstract, which should contain a summary of all major findings or conclusions in the work. This is not necessary for short note submissions.
  • Checklist-based papers, like trip reports, should contain dates of the trip, total number of birders, hours spent birding, exact locations of each surveyed site, description/s of any specific attempts made to document groups, like nocturnal birds, and so on. Inclusion of ‘status’ of species is discouraged. Where an assessment of abundance is given, the basis of terms like ‘uncommon’, etc., should be described—authors are encouraged to give some quantitative-type measure of this, like frequency in ten-minute lists, or encounter rate per kilometre, per hour, etc.
  • While Indian BIRDS accepts manuscripts that collate information from, we discourage articles/notes that are just simple status checklists generated from eBird data. We would consider articles that use this resource for further analytical work and present new insights that are not directly evident in the outputs provided by eBird.
  • We strongly recommend that our contributors upload their observation details and checklists to before submitting the manuscript to Indian BIRDS. eBird list references can be provided separately.
  • Manuscripts should be sent electronically as an email attachment to
  • The text, tables, figure/photograph captions (which must be self-explanatory), and appendices should be combined in one Microsoft Word® (“.doc,” “.docx”, or “.rtf”) file format. The preferred font is ‘Times New Roman’ in 9 point, and double-spaced. Line numbers are not mandatory.
  • Photographs, artwork, maps (the outlines of the Republic of India should conform to Government of India regulations), diagrams, etc., should be digitised and sent as an e-mail attachment along with the manuscript, or if they are large files, in separate, trailing e-mails. These should be in TIFF and at least 8×11 inches in 300 dpi resolutions. JPEG files must be ‘maximum’ quality, that is, at their minimum compression. Maps should be marked with a scale and North arrow, and should carry a clear caption.
  • Authors, whose work involves the handling of birds, or their nests and eggs, must have obtained necessary permissions from the requisite governmental agencies, to do so. The editor reserves the right to view such permissions at her/his discretion.
  • While photographing nesting activity, including those of nests, eggs, etc., authors/photographers must ensure the safety of the bird/s involved, and also ensure that they do not disturb the birds, their nest, eggs, etc., in any way whatsoever, in the course of their photography. The editor reserves the right to view permissions for such activities within protected areas. The editor/referee reserves the right to query an author regarding the ethics of photography, and the methodology followed while photographing nesting birds, including that of rejecting a manuscript if unsatisfied on these counts.


  • Manuscripts listing species checklists should not provide taxonomic units-based tables and bar graphs or pie charts (like Order- / Family-wise number of species tables/diagrams), unless one compares and contrasts the observed patterns with expected one. Similarly, food habits-based classification in such manuscripts should be avoided unless some insightful analysis about foraging ecology / community structure is being presented.
  • Scientific binomials should comprise the generic and specific names, but should not include the name of the author and year of citation. Scientific trinomials should be mentioned only if the nature of the manuscript requires them.
  • When a bird species is first mentioned, both the English and scientific name must be given, thus, “House Crow Corvus splendens”, thereafter, only the English name, thus, “House Crow” will suffice. English and scientific names should follow the South Asia Checklist.
  • Metric units and their international symbols must be used, e.g., “sq. km”, and “1,000 m asl.”; dates and times should be of the form “01 January 2011”, and “1345 h” respectively.
  • Numbers one to ten should be written in full, except when used with a measurement abbreviation or higher number, thus: five birds, but 5 km and 5–15 birds. Numerals are used for all numbers greater than ten: 12, 120, 1,200, 12,000, and 120,000.
  • Tables should be within gridlines (which may or may not be printed). Tables should never be formatted with wrap around text.
  • Latitude and longitude coordinates should follow the format, “27.807ºN, 74.094ºE”.


  • Do not abbreviate references; pagination should be given in expanded form, e.g., not “vi, 250”, but “i–vi, 1–250”; the page numbers should be separated by an ‘En’ dash.
  • Italics should be used for book titles but not volume numbers; when citing periodicals use italics for the journal name not the article title.
  • References should be arranged alphabetically by first author (and in the case of more than one author, by second and subsequent authors).
  • Citations to references in the text should follow the style, “(Santharam 1978)”, “(Barua & Sharma 1999)”, “(Pande et al. 2002)”, “(Lainer 1999, 2004)”, “(Lainer 1999a,b,c,d; Lainer 1999a, 2000a)” [for several papers by an author/s from a/multiple calendar year/s], and “(Neelakantan et al. 1993; Sashikumar et al. 2011)”.
  • A string of citations in the text should follow a chronological, not an alphabetical order, thus: “(Ali & Ripley 1981; Kazmierczak 2000; Grimmett et al. 2011)”.
  • When citing unpublished sources, please use the following formats: if the source is written material, “(Harkirat Sangha, in litt., email/letter dated 02 January 2013)”; if oral “(Rajah Jayapal, verbally, dated 15 December 2013)”.
  • When citing from eBird, please enter the author of the eBird checklist’s name, and the year the checklist was uploaded, in the text, “(Raman 1994)”.

See examples below for detailed formatting:

Journal articles

  • Pittie, A., 2011. The dates of seven new taxa described by W. E. Brooks (Certhia Hodgsoni, Sitta Cashmirensis, Dumeticola major, Horites [sic] Pallidus, Phylloscopus Tytleri, Motacilla Cashmirensis, and Alauda Guttata). Indian BIRDS 7 (2): 54–55.
  • Naoroji, R., & Sangha, H. S., 2011. Threats to habitat and wildlife in Changthang and Rupshu areas of Ladakh: a case study at Hanle. Indian BIRDS 7 (1): 2–6.
  • Choudhary, D. N., Mandal, J. N., Mishra, A., & Ghosh, T. K., 2010. First ever breeding record of Black-necked Stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus from Bihar. Indian BIRDS 6 (3): 80–82.


  • Pittie, A., 2010. Birds in books: three hundred years of South Asian ornithology—a bibliography. 1st ed. Ranikhet: Permanent Black. Pp. i–xxi, 1–845.
  • Sashikumar, C., Praveen J., Palot, M. J., & Nameer, P. O., 2011. Birds of Kerala: status and distribution. 1st ed. Kottayam, Kerala: DC Books. Pp. 1–835.
  • Futehally, Z. (ed.) 2006. India through its birds. 1st ed. Bangalore, India: Dronequill Publishers Pvt. Ltd. Pp. i–ii, 1–214.

Book chapter

  • Pittie, A., 2011. Stray Feathers (1872–1899) (p. 247). In: Priority! The dating of scientific names in ornithology: a directory to the literature and its reviewers. Dickinson, E. C., Overstreet, L. K., Dowsett, R. J., & Bruce, M. D. (eds.). Northampton, UK: Aves Press Limited.


eBird checklist


  • While every care is taken of manuscripts and their accompanying material, Indian BIRDS cannot be held responsible for accidental loss or damage of any material sent for publication or for their return, whether they are accepted for publication or not.
  • Material published in Indian BIRDS reflects the views of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers, editors, referees, etc.
  • The editor reserves the right to make necessary changes in manuscripts in consultation with the author.

All contributors submitting material to Indian BIRDS also give permission for its use on the New Ornis Foundation / Indian BIRDS website.

All submissions are evaluated under the assumption that the conditions listed here have been understood and accepted by the author(s).


The Editor, Indian BIRDS, 2nd Floor, ‘BBR Forum’, Road No. 2, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad 500034, Telangana, India.