Faces of AOS: Scott Sillett Bio

• Email:

• Twitter Handle:

• Website/Blog/Etc:

• My position with AOS:
Fellow; Editor in Chief of The Auk, beginning August 2018

• My current full-time title and institution:
Research Wildlife Biologist, Smithsonian Institution

• My current career stage:

• My lineage of mentors/labs:
Undergrad: Stephen Russell, William Calder, University of Arizona;
Masters: J.V. Remsen, Jr., Louisiana State University;
PhD: Richard Holmes, Dartmouth College;
Postdoc: Jim Nichols, USGS Patuxent

• #badlyexplainyourjob:
I study individual, marked birds throughout their lives, preferably in pleasing locations.

• My favorite bird and why:
Greater Roadrunner (https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xxlwv5)

• I am involved with AOS because:
The AOS is my primary professional society and a great community of friends and scholars.

• The best part about being a member of AOS is:
Excellent journals and annual meetings.

• Birds are important to me because:
They are easy to count.

• Advice I have to offer a student (master’s level or younger) in ornithology:
Resist entropy.

• One ornithology question or problem I would like to solve or see solved:
Track migratory hummingbirds between breeding and winter grounds.


Scott Sillett named Editor-in-chief of The Auk: Ornithological Advances, a journal of the American Ornithological Society

The American Ornithological Society (AOS) announces the appointment of T. Scott Sillett as the 19theditor-in-chief of the international journal, The Auk: Ornithological Advances, one of two peer-reviewed journals published by the AOS. Dr. Sillett brings a powerful combination of scientific breadth and accomplishment, editorial experience, and vision for the journal at the global level. He will begin his position this August during the journal’s 134th year of publication.

Dr. Sillett was appointed by the AOS Council to lead the journal based on his many strengths, including his innovative strategies to address the shifting landscape for scholarly publishing and his solid grounding in the ornithological research communities across the Americas. Sillett is a Research Wildlife Biologist at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park and Conservation Biology Institute and is a Fellow of the AOS.

“I am honored to be chosen as the next editor-in-chief of The Auk, and look forward to working with the AOS to continue the journal’s legacy of excellence and innovation,” said Sillett. He is committed to work with colleagues to elevate the journal’s international recognition for its cutting edge science involving birds.

Sillett will place a high priority on raising the global profile of ornithological research by recruiting editorial board members for The Auk from emerging research communities.

“The international ornithological communityis increasingly producing exciting ornithological science that The Aukis uniquely positioned to make widely accessible. We are excited to see a significant increase in ornithological studies and international collaboration in the Americas particularly, but also throughout the world. The AOS can ensure this quality research is distributed widely,” said Kathy Martin, president of the AOS.

The Auk: Ornithological Advances publishes original research advancing the fundamental scientific knowledge of broad biological concepts (e.g., ecology, evolution, behavior, physiology, and genetics) through studies of birds, with emphasis on novel, timely, and broadly significant research for publication. The Auk thrived while under the editorship of Dr. Mark Hauber from 2013 to present. The journal consistently tops the 5‐yr‐average journal impact factor scores among 24 ornithology journals worldwide.

About the American Ornithological Society
The American Ornithological Society (AOS) is the largest, most influential ornithological society in the world. The society provides exemplary leadership in ornithological research, a rigorous scientific basis for the conservation of birds, and invests more in research awards and direct support of students and early professionals than any other society devoted to ornithology. The AOS publishes two international journals—The Auk: Ornithological Advances, and The Condor: Ornithological Applications—which have a history of the highest scientific impact rankings among ornithological journals worldwide, and the book series, Studies in Avian Biology. The Society’s checklists serve as the accepted authority for scientific nomenclature and English names of birds in North, Middle, and South America. The AOS is also a partner in the online publication of The Birds of North America with the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. For more information, see www.americanornithology.org.

The Auk and The Condor Will Become Electronic Only in 2018

The AOS 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.

**You may order print-on-demand annual subscriptions or individual issues of the 2018 journals from Sheridan Press starting in December 2017 at https://pod.sheridan.com/. Annual subscriptions for libraries are $400 for each journal. Annual subscriptions for AOS members are $160 per year for each journal. Individual issues may be ordered for $55 per issue.

For more information on the journals generally or the print-on-demand option, please contact AOSpubs@AmericanOrnithology.org.

News Release: American Ornithological Society (AOS) Takes Flight

Contact: Melinda Pruett-Jones
American Ornithological Society, Executive Director
Email: mpruettjones@americanornithology.org
Mobile: 312-420-2292

AOS logo

New Organization Dedicated to the Study and Conservation of Birds in the Americas

CHICAGO, IL (December 19, 2016) – Two of the oldest and most influential professional ornithological societies in the world have legally merged, forming the American Ornithological Society (AOS), an organization devoted to advancing research focused on birds in the Western Hemisphere, promoting their conservation, and training the next generation of scientists.

Nearly 3,000 members of the American Ornithologists’ Union and the Cooper Ornithological Society approved the merger earlier this year in association with the North American Ornithological Conference held in Washington D.C. Under the leadership of executive director Melinda Pruett-Jones, AOS is based in Chicago at the Field Museum of Natural History. For more information on the new AOS and the merger process, visit www.americanornithology.org.

“Over the past six years we have actively collaborated as separate organizations: meeting together, publishing our journals jointly and working together to benefit the conservation of birds. After fact-finding and due diligence, and in response to the tremendous positive feedback from our membership, I am proud to announce a single merged society that will advance ornithology by combining our assets – human, financial and intellectual,” said AOS president Steven Beissinger.

The largest ornithological society in the Western Hemisphere, AOS produces scientific publications of the highest quality, hosts intellectually engaging and professionally vital meetings, serves ornithologists at every career stage, pursues a global perspective, and informs public policy on all issues important to ornithology and ornithological collections. AOS assets now exceed $10 million in support of ornithology, and it will invest nearly $1 million to advance its mission in its first year as a merged society.

The new organization is undertaking new initiatives to help students, early professionals and international members and to address the needs of scientists, academics and conservation professionals in advancing knowledge, not only in the Western Hemisphere but across the globe. AOS also recently launched a program to encourage members to reach out to their local communities and showcase ornithology as a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) field students might not have considered.

“The society is redoubling past efforts to prepare future generations of scientists and conservation leaders. Success requires a multi-dimensional approach that integrates science, new technologies, public policy and citizen outreach; works with other ornithological and scientific communities; and collaborates with local, state, federal and international government entities,” said former American Ornithologists’ Union president Susan Haig, who began the merging effort in 2010.

“AOS is distinguished by its tremendous collective expertise, eminent scientists, conservation practitioners, early career innovators, and students. The society will especially focus on attracting diversity in the profession,” said former Cooper Ornithological Society president Martin Raphael.

The first meeting of the new AOS will be held July 31 to August 5, 2017 on the campus of Michigan State University.

About the American Ornithological Society

The American Ornithological Society (AOS) is an international society devoted to advancing the scientific understanding of birds, enriching ornithology as a profession, and promoting a rigorous scientific basis for bird conservation. AOS publishes two international journals—The Auk: Ornithological Advances, which has one of the highest scientific impact rankings among ornithological journals worldwide, and The Condor: Ornithological Applications—as well as the book series Studies in Avian Biology. AOS also sponsors Birds of North America in partnership with the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. The society’s checklists serve as the accepted authority for scientific nomenclature and English names of birds in the Americas.

For more information, visit www.americanornithology.org.

Submit Papers to Auk and Condor!

Attention ornithologists: here are some of the reasons to submit your manuscript to The Auk: Ornithological Advances or The Condor: Ornithological Applications.

  • Weekly publication of articles, 8-9 weeks after acceptance
  • Fast first-decision times, averaging only 33 days
  • Lowest open access fee (no page charges with OA)
  • Author publicity via EurekAlert
  • Uniquely qualified copyeditors, figure editor, translators
  • Highly ranked in ornithology: Auk #1 and Condor #5 over 5 years

Auk and Condor, Abby McBride http://sketchbiologist.com
Image: Abby McBride

The Auk: Ornithological Advances and The Condor: Ornithological Applications are publications of the American Ornithological Society.