The American Ornithology Society Council made the decision at the 2017 annual meeting that The Auk and The Condor will become electronic only. We will no longer print paper editions. This transition will take effect with the 2018 subscription year.
The decision to move to electronic-only publishing was spurred by changes in the way that ornithological science is being created, distributed, and consumed. Print publications are simply unable to accommodate the growing amount of content that is "born digital." We now publish articles weekly, and promote our science to an ever-broader community. Moving to an electronic-only delivery mechanism aligns with the AOS' forward-looking approach to timely and accessible ornithological knowledge.
AOS members who currently subscribe to the print and electronic versions of the journals will be offered an electronic-only renewal for 2018. The Journals' published articles will continue to be posted on a weekly basis at American Ornithology Pubs, and a PDF version of each issue is always available to members to download and print from the website. These are the final article versions, with DOIs, publication dates, volume, issue, and page numbers.
For our members who still would like print copies of the journals themselves, Print-on-demand (POD) issues will be available for order directly from an independent print house. You may order the annual print issues for one journal (4 issues) or both journals (8 issues), or purchase individual issues as they are published. Specific details about the POD options will be outlined in the upcoming member renewal process and on the AOS website.
The Society began distributing its journal articles online in 2008 and on a weekly basis in 2013. Electronic-only publication will allow our talented editorial team and publications staff to continue to innovate and develop the journals outside of the constraints of print. The Condor scored the highest 2016 Journal Impact Factor among 24 ornithology journals (2.654)! The Auk scored the second-highest 5-year average Journal Impact Factor score among 24 ornithology journals (2.171). Our journals are leaders in the field of ornithology and we want to keep them there.
Kathleen Erickson, AOS Journals Director explains: "Over the past decade the number of print subscribers to The Auk and The Condor has declined dramatically, while the number of electronic-only subscribers, the amount of content published, and the speed of our production for the journals have increased significantly. The electronic versions of our journals have been the versions of record for more than 10 years. We are confident Council's decision will enable us to provide even better service to our authors and readers."
We will now invest our energy and resources into the journals' ongoing digital development, as exemplified by our success in seven online Special Collections that include articles from both journals, Special Issues and Special Sections in one journal on a dedicated topic, the Journals' Blog on the Home Page of the Publications website (which also include Author Blogs), and outreach to our members, authors, and readers with the Quarterly Journals Newsletter and the Monthly Content Alerts.
For more information on the journals generally or the print-on-demand option, please contact AOSpubs@AmericanOrnithology.org