AOS Become or Renew Membership Online – How To Video

It’s that time again! Time to become or renew your AOS membership online for next year!

To help guide you through the process we created a “how to” video. Mike Butler, current AOS Membership Committee Chair, goes through the steps to show how simple and fast it really is.

If you’d prefer written instructions or more details on the different types of membership, check out our membership webpage.


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 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

#TheTweetingBird – Social Media Symposium at AOS-SCO 2017 Meeting

The following (abstracts listed in order of author’s last name) is a preview of some of the talks that will be presented at the upcoming AOS-SCO meeting. The symposium will be held 2 August, 2017, 10:30AM – 12:00PM.

Using social media to help drive your own research article’s Altmetric Attention Score

Steve Dudley
British Ornithologists’ Union (BOU), PO Box 417, Peterborough, PE7 3FX, UK | Twitter @stevedudley_ and for @IBIS_journal

The Altmetric Attention Score of a research article is a metric for our digital and social media age. This article-level metric measures the online attention, not scientific quality, of a research article.

Altmetrics were launched mainstream by most journal publishers in 2014. The BOU was already using social media to promote our journal articles in IBIS, and now we had a means to measure the impact of this.

Getting research talked about is not only good for science, but also has benefits for authors, the journals and publishing societies. But it occurred to us that in order for the ornithology community to get behind this new metric, it required independent, within-sector education to gain traction, which the BOU could provide.

Three years on, and working with an increasing number of partners, the ornithology community’s understanding of altmetrics has greatly improved. This has led to an increasing number of researchers taking up social media, and blogging, to help drive the Altmetric Attention Score of their own research articles.

From a study of over 6,500 articles from 10 ornithology journals, I will illustrate how authors, institutes and publishing societies can help drive the Altmetric Attention Score of their own research articles. This will include an author who drove the score of his own paper to become the highest scoring altmetric paper in IBIS; and a UK institute who used the Altmetric Attention Scores of their staffs’ research articles as a means to measure, and drive, the outreach of their own research output.

#MORails #MOScience : Tweeting Live From The Field.

Auriel Fournier
Arkansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit – University of Arkansas, 1 University Drive SCEN 632, Fayetteville, AR, 72701, USA.

The combination of field work and social media, in this case twitter, presents a fantastic opportunity to share your science with the general public as it is happening. I will share my experiences, successes, and failures of three years of tweeting about my doctoral work (#MORails) studying the autumn migration of rails in wetlands across Missouri. Through text, pictures and video I’ve been able to share my work, and teach people around the world about wetland processes, their importance in the larger ecosystem, and why rails are so incredibly cool. I’ll provide tips for how to tweet about your own work, create a hashtag, find an audience, and share your science.

Using Social Media at Scientific Conferences, A Case Study of NAOC 2016

Jordan E. Rutter
American Ornithological Society, 1400 South Lake Shore Drive Chicago, IL 60605
Twitter: @JERutter and for AOS @AmOrnith

Social media is a currently underutilized networking tool by science conferences, which has the ability to maximize the benefits of the event for both organizers and attendees. Twitter specifically is set up in a way that allows constant and continual sharing of information. This medium provides an optimal platform for organizers to communicate with the public (attendees or not) about the conference before, during, and after the event. Twitter also allows people to report live about program items such as symposia talks, workshops, socials, and more. In doing so not only are the attendees connecting with others present but are also spreading that information to people around the world. By using social media to talk about the conference, science in general is getting discussed more as well. New projects and collaborations are all possibilities and results of using social media in general but especially at conferences. The North American Ornithological Conference (NAOC) that took place in 2016 is a case study that demonstrates the additional success scientific conferences can have when social media is incorporated.

Live streaming your science: The engaging platforms of Periscope and FacebookLive

Nicole Wood

Science communication is nothing new for scientists. Traditionally researchers have communicated with their intended audiences via print or television. Emerging technologies have changed how we as a society communicate and scientists must update their communication tools, so they don’t lose touch with their audiences. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allow researchers to engage with audiences directly, enabling for a greater exchange of information. While these apps foster a dynamic interaction, they still lack that personal touch of being able to engage with a “real live” scientist rather than just words on a screen. Apps, such as Periscope, let a broadcaster live stream an audio video feed directly to their audience via their phone, tablet, or computer and viewers can communicate back in real time to the broadcaster, during the live stream, through an integrated chat module. Live streaming can be used for a wide variety of science communication options, such as interviews, research presentations, and fieldwork showcases, for both inreach and outreach audiences. Science communication is an ever-evolving set of tools for the scientist’s toolbox. Live streaming is an emerging tool that can be easily added and one that researchers must take advantage of to stay relevant in today’s social media world.

News Release: American Ornithological Society (AOS) Takes Flight

Contact: Melinda Pruett-Jones
American Ornithological Society, Executive Director
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

“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