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Promoting the enjoyment, study, and conservation of Wisconsin's birds.

Peer Review comes to the Passenger Pigeon

Beginning in 2014, the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology introduced a peer-reviewed science section in its Passenger Pigeon journal. This new section does not displace the regular contributions that have been part of the journal for decades, such as Seasonal Reports, Christmas Bird Count summaries, committee reports, etc. However, our hope is that the peer-reviewed section will attract more representatives from the academic community to the Passenger Pigeon journal, many of whom are restricted to publishing only in peer-reviewed journals.

The Passenger Pigeon welcomes and will publish original research that advances the scientific understanding and conservation of Wisconsin birds and their habitats. The Passenger Pigeon is especially interested in submissions from undergraduate and graduate students from Wisconsin institutions and from citizen scientists. Submissions that are technique or methodologically based should have relevance beyond a single species. Submissions may be considered in the following general categories:

Research Articles
Most submissions will fall under this category and will report the results of original research on birds and/or their habitats in Wisconsin. The Passenger Pigeon will also accept article submissions of research projects occurring elsewhere in the Midwest if the study species are known to occur in Wisconsin. Submissions with a social science aspect will be considered if there is a strong link to or implications for bird conservation.

Review Papers
Summarize previously published research in the ornithological literature that has broad influence or impact on birds and their habitats.

Brief submissions in response to peer-reviewed articles published after January 1, 2014. Perspectives Invited by the peer-review editor and in consultation with the WSO board on topics or themes of high conservation or scientific value.

Instructions for Authors

For initial submission, e-mail the manuscript including all tables and figures to The text, tables and figures should be combined into one document (MS WORD preferred).

A cover letter should accompany the initial submission and include a statement that the manuscript reports on original research that is not published elsewhere. Full disclosure of possible redundant publication should be made in the cover letter. Please include in the cover letter the name, address, email and phone number of the corresponding author. Also include the names and contact information for 2-3 reviewers within Wisconsin who have expertise in the area of your manuscript but who have not worked closely with you on the submission.


Manuscript Formatting

  • Each submission should be ordered as: Cover Letter, Title Page, Abstract with keywords, Introduction, Study Area/Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgements, Literature Cited, Figures, Tables. Figures and Tables may be attached as separate files or at the end of the main document.
  • Double space all text using 12 point Times New Roman or similar font and include line and page numbers on each page.
  • Acknowledgement section should include a statement about the scientific code of ethics such as whether an Animal Use and Care Protocol was approved and followed during the course of the project under review.

Review Process

  • All submissions will be initially reviewed by the peer-review editor to determine the manuscripts appropriateness for the Passenger Pigeon. Submissions meeting the scope of the peer-review section of the Passenger Pigeon will be forwarded for review. Those deemed inappropriate will be returned to the author with an explanation from the peer-review editor.
  • Two independent reviewers with expertise in the manuscript’s topic area will objectively examine the manuscript. The peer-review editor will make a decision on accepting or rejecting the manuscript based on the reviewer’s comments.
  • Manuscripts will generally be evaluated on the following criteria: contribution to ornithological knowledge in Wisconsin, clear research objectives or problem statement, sound experimental design and analysis, appropriate conclusions, and writing quality.