R, Scientometrics, Knowledge Management, and Social Network Analysis

Who’s Who in Conservation Biology—an Authorship Analysis

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Published in: Conservation Biology, 20(3), 2006, 652-657(6)
Authors: Autumn-Lynn Harrison
Affiliation: Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Long Marine Laboratory, University of California, Santa Cruz, 100 Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, U.S.A.

The four previous papers have illustrated how scientometrics techniques being applied in the level of journals, fields, as well as countries. Harrison (2006) studied the authorship trends of a specific journal, Conservation Biology, from its inauguration in 1987 to 2005.

Over the 19-years period, there were more than 5,200 unique authors representing almost 1,500 organisations from 89 countries contributing to 2,060 papers. These data were obtained from Thomson Scientific bibliometric records.

Harrison first investigated the 25 most cited papers. It was found that 62 individuals were involved in the 25 papers. From the first author perspective, 21 of them are men and 4 are women.

From the total number of authors, 82.6% of them published only a single paper and only 6 of them published 10 or more papers, namely Dennis Murphy with 13 papers, Joel Berger 12 papers, Philip Hedrick and Mac Hunter with 11 papers, and Tim Clark and Kent Redford with 10 papers. Interestingly, the top 3 most cited papers do not include any of the most productive authors. The three most cited authors were all from Australia, Richard J. Hobbs received 1021 total citations from 5 papers, Chris Margules received 951 citations from 3 papers, and Denis Saunders received 857 citations from the only paper that he published in Conservation Biology. 82.6% of them published only a single paper.

Harrison also found that the number of single-authored papers decreased significantly over the years from 56.7% in 1987 to 17.8% in 2005. While the number of papers with 5 or more authors ranged from 0 in 1987 to 23% in 2005. Overall, the average number of authors per paper increased from 1.6 in 1987 to 3.3 in 2005.

Finally, Harrison investigated the affiliation of the authors. 62% of the total number of institutions contributed only a single paper. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service with its 63 papers was the most productive, while the University of Florida and University of California, Davis, were the two institutions with the highest number of first authors with 41 and 40.

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Written by Mathias

May 1, 2007 at 1:02 am

Posted in Scientometrics

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