Global-scope scientific journals have played an important role in upholding a colonial legacy of north-south inequities in ornithology, and they now have a key role to play in increasing equity in scientific publishing. We explore common barriers faced by ornithologists in the Neotropics (Latin America and the Caribbean) and suggest priority actions that Ornithological Applications, Ornithology, and other global-scope ornithological journals can take to increase equity in publication and research uptake. Among the most important problems, we identified (1) restrictive (and north-biased) criteria for assessing research “importance” and “novelty,” (2) the high publication costs of the Author Pay (Gold) Open Access model, (3) language hegemony, (4) under-representation of ornithologists from the Neotropics on editorial boards and as lead authors on invited articles, and (5) lack of attention to ethics of collaboration and citation. We recommend that Ornithological Applications, Ornithology, and other global-scope ornithological journals (1) adjust their criteria for publication with the aim to publish all scientifically robust and ethically rigorous ornithology research submitted by first authors based in the Neotropics, including negative results and articles on basic biology; (2) maintain or create options for free or low-cost publication; (3) offer the option of a submission and review process in Spanish (and possibly other languages in the future); (4) increase the representation of ornithologists based in the Neotropics (especially women and those belonging to other marginalized groups) in core editorial teams and on editorial boards; and (5) introduce structured reflexivity statements, in which authors declare how local scientists were involved in the research and how equity was promoted in the collaboration that resulted in the manuscript. For these changes to be broadly effective in the long term, ornithologists across the Global South, and Indigenous, Brown, and Black ornithologists globally, should play lead roles in designing, implementing, and assessing the effectiveness of journal policies and programs. Spanish and Portuguese translations are available in the supplementary material.