Terrestrial ecologists ignore aquatic literature: Asymmetry in citation breadth in ecological publications and implications for generality and progress in ecology

Bruce A. Menge, Francis Chan, Sarah Dudas, Dafne Eerkes-Medrano, Kirsten Grorud-Colvert, Kimberly Heiman, Margot Hessing-Lewis, Alison Iles, Ruth Milston-Clements, Mae Noble, Kimberly Page-Albins, Erin Richmond, Gil Rilov, Jeremy Rose, Joe Tyburczy, Luis Vinueza, Phoebe Zarnetske

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44 Citas (Scopus)

Resumen

The search for generality in ecology should include assessing the influence of studies done in one system on those done in other systems. Assuming generality is reflected in citation patterns, we analyzed frequencies of terrestrial, marine, and freshwater citations in papers categorized as terrestrial, marine and freshwater in high-impact "general" ecological journals. Citation frequencies were strikingly asymmetric. Aquatic researchers cited terrestrial papers ~ 10 times more often than the reverse, implying uneven cross-fertilization of information between aquatic and terrestrial ecologists. Comparisons between citation frequencies in the early 1980s and the early 2000s for two of the seven journals yielded similar results. Summing across all journals, 60% of all research papers (n = 5824) published in these journals in 2002-2006 were terrestrial vs. 9% freshwater and 8% marine. Since total numbers of terrestrial and aquatic ecologists are more similar than these proportions suggest, the representation of publications by habitat in "general" ecological journals appears disproportional and unrepresentative of the ecological science community at large. Such asymmetries are a concern because (1) aquatic and terrestrial systems can be tightly integrated, (2) pressure for across-system understanding to meet the challenge of climate change is increasing, (3) citation asymmetry implies barriers to among-system flow of understanding, thus (4) impeding scientific and societal progress. Changing this imbalance likely depends on a bottom-up approach originating from the ecological community, through pressure on societies, journals, editors and reviewers.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)93-100
Número de páginas8
PublicaciónJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Volumen377
N.º2
DOI
EstadoPublicada - 1 sep. 2009
Publicado de forma externa

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