Who are we?
For the recent meeting in Costa Rica I put together some slides for the plenary talk by ATBC President Lucia Lohmann. I thought I’d share them here, since they do a nice job of summarizing the type of work we publish and where we have worked. You can click on the images to make them larger.
The first one is an overview of how many papers we have published and how often they are cited.
The next one is a word cloud (generated with wordle) of the titles of every paper published in the journal from 1969-June 2013. No surprise, we study plants and forests, especially rain forests, but I was surprised to see ants were bigger than birds or mammals.
Finally, I used data from a paper I wrote with some graduate students to generate a word cloud of where Biotropica‘s authors were working. The paper has loads of details, but the pattern is clear – we know plenty about a few places, and not much about many others. This isn’t just Biotropica, either – it was true for all the journals we reviewed (Ecology, Biological Conservation, Oecologia, Conservation Biology, and the Journal of Tropical Ecology). 62% of the papers we reviewed are based on research conducted in one of only ten countries, and of the ~159 countries partially bounded by the tropics, 38% weren’t represented by any publications at all.
I would love to hear your thoughts on these numbers, and especially what we can do to encourage submissions from some of the places missing in slide #3.