What country submits the most to Biotropica?

In 2012, Biotropica received manuscripts from authors based in 52 countries.  Any guesses as to what countries submitted the most manuscripts? If you can identify the habitat below, you will know the answer.

Dr. Alan Nilo da Costa assessing damage by glass-head leaf-cutter ants (Atta laevigata) in Brazil's Cerrado.

Dr. Alan Nilo da Costa assessing damage by glass-head leaf-cutter ants (Atta laevigata) in Brazil’s Cerrado.


10/11. Japan & Spain (N = 8)

9. China (N = 9)

7/8. Australia & Colombia (N = 10)

6. UK (N = 12)

5. India (N = 18)

4. Germany (N = 19)

3. Mexico (N = 29)

2. USA (N = 89)

1. Brazil (N = 100)


Overall, close to 40% of our submissions come from Latin America, followed by North America (~23%), Europe (~18%), and Asia (~14%). Our submission rates continue to be lowest from the Austral Pacific and Africa (~5% each); we’re perpetually trying to increase submissions from scientists in these regions and welcome suggestions on how to do so.

So are you surprised? I found the difference between Brazil/USA and the rest of the world really striking.  Based on my impressions after having taken over as EIC, I think the top three countries are likely to remain the same in 2013, but that several countries – notably China – are moving up the list.  Note we haven’t calculated the acceptance rates of these articles, but here is some interesting data from a 2008 study by Gaby Stocks and collaborators that was published in Biotropica [#IcanHazPDF here].

Country in which the lead author’s primary institution was located for all papers published in Biotropica and J. of Tropical Ecology (1995-2004). Numbers above the bars indicate number of studies.


The USA has historically been the dominant home for authors publishing in the two leading outlets for tropical research, but Brazil and Mexico are among the leaders in published articles as well, so obviously many of those submissions are successful.

I can’t speak for other journals, but  one of the things I like best about Biotropica is the diversity of our audience and authorship. Though we still have some geographic areas in which we could do better, I’m glad to see developing countries are so well represented in our top-10.


As an aside, there is plenty more to mull over in the Stocks et al. paper, including analysis of collaboration trends and similar data from Ecology, Oecologia, Conservation Biology, and Biological Conservation.  The data used are publicly available at the Data Dryad, so feel free to download them and use them in your own analyses.  For instance, Pitman et al.  used them to map where in the Amazon researchers were working, and the results are preety striking:


As you might have predicted, ecologists go where the field stations are. I hope by linking to these data and showing the kinds of analyses others have done, people will be motivated to do similar analyses for their own regions of interest. Links below.


Stocks, G., L. Seales*, E. Maehr*, F. Paniagua*, and E. M. Bruna. 2008. The geographical and institutional distribution of ecological research in the tropics. Biotropica 40(4): 397-404. [pdf].

Pitman, N. C. A., J. Widmer, C. N. Jenkins, G. Stocks, L. Seales, F. Paniagua, and E. M. Bruna. 2011. Volume and geographical distribution of ecological research in the Andes and the Amazon, 1995-2008Tropical Conservation Science 4(1): 64-81[pdf].

Stocks G, Seales L, Paniagua F, Maehr E, Bruna EM (2008) Data from: The geographical and institutional distribution of ecological research in the tropics. Dryad Digital Repository. doi:10.5061/dryad.9097