‘Ardeola’ is the peer-reviewed journal of the Spanish Ornithological Society (SEO/BirdLife), publishing information on the biology, ecology and conservation of birds. Its emphasis is on Mediterranean-type ecosystems but papers relating to other ecosystems are also welcome.
Ardeola journal has seen both the scope and the volume of contributions increase over time in parallel with increases in ornithological research. Successive editorial boards have adopted a very broad view of such research, taking it to comprise studies that focus on bird species and their habitats to ask questions, test hypotheses and solve problems from an array of scientific disciplines. Thus studies within the fields of basic biology, ecology, conservation, biogeography and macroecology are all welcomed. The journal topic list of published contributions is dominated by those on zoogeography, reproduction, foraging, behaviour, migration, habitat selection, conservation and population dynamics. Most such papers have been the outcome of mainly traditional methodologies but studies employing more recent approaches, such as isotopes, molecular markers and bio-loggers, are beginning to appear within the pages of Ardeola and we would like to see more of these in future.
The journal maintains the traditional structure of past volumes and comprises seven sections. Research papers, and briefer Short Communications on provocative findings and technical notes, form the core of each issue. Review Articles illustrate the state-of-the-art of selected research topics and provide useful syntheses intended to be helpful both to established researchers and newcomers to the field. The Forum section, appearing more irregularly, promotes discussion of studies. Book Reviews, now published on-line twice a year, provide timely critical reviews of new publications on bird species and their habitats. Three other sections complete the contribution of the journal to the ornithological community: the PhD-Dissertation Summaries, summarising theses defended in Spain; Ornithological News, compiling interesting records of common birds to help define their distribution and phenology in particular, and Observations of Rare Birds in Spain, the annual reports of the Spanish rarities committee.
Building on improvements introduced by previous editorial committees, Ardeola now offers some innovations that we hope will increase the interest and usefulness of the journal to both authors and readers. Firstly, the online edition in BioOne platform has taken form and we now provide an electronic ‘issue in progress’ well in advance of the printed edition, with citable DOIs. Authors may now gain recognition for their contributions as soon as they are accepted and laid out. These papers are now available to readers on electronic devices year-round. Subscribers may now choose between paper and electronic editions (or both!). In the same vein, our future plans include an electronic submission system to facilitate and accelerate the editorial process, and integration with emerging platforms to help reviewers and to share data. These innovations are intended to enhance the attractiveness of Ardeola as a scientific platform for publishing research results. Alongside these changes, the phenology of the journal has altered slightly: the printed issues will appear in January and July from 2017 onwards.
These future developments are supported by an enthusiastic Editorial Board. Juan A. Amat handed over as editor-in-chief to Javier Seoane in mid 2015. Most existing board remain and we have recruited seven new editors to widen both the thematic and the geographical scope of the team. Thus Alex E. Jahn, José Sarasola, Juan Carlos Illera, Manuel Morales, María del Mar Delgado, Sin-Yeon Kim and Pascual López-López (who will also handle the Review Articles section) have joined the twelve existing members; Alberto Velando, Alice Cibois, Beatriz Arroyo, Carolina Sampera, Christophe Barbraud, Diego Gil, Jaime Ramos, Jesús Miguel Avilés, José Antonio Masero, Rodrigo Vásquez, Roger Jovani and Roxana Torres. These editors handle submissions to the research sections of the journal, searching for suitable reviewers and making informed decisions on manuscripts, drawing on their expertise in particular subject areas. The current board also includes Blas Molina, Carles López-Jurado, Francisco Valera, Javier Prieta, Juan Antonio Lorenzo, José Luis Copete and Miguel Rouco, who edit the reports and record summaries. Last but not least, Agustín Carretero, at the editorial office of SEO/BirdLife, and Ernest F. J. Garcia, as assistant editor, help the journal workflow to proceed efficiently.
Ardeola has now been listed for 10 years within the subset of journals that are acknowledged to have more scientific impact. We would like to thank the authors that have believed in the journal as a worthwhile forum for publishing their research, the referees that have reviewed manuscripts promptly and rigorously, and the editors of previous editorial committees who monitored the publication process. Collectively, all of them have ensured that the journal meets international standards of scientific quality. To conclude, we strive to publish good and useful science and, at the same time, to promote the work of scientists who are at an early stage in their careers.