A bibliometric review of the recent literature in ornithology

Authors: BAUTISTA, L. M. and PANTOJA, J. C.

Published: Volume 47(1), June 2000. Pages 109-121.

Language: English

Keywords: authorship, Aves, historical trends in ornithology, number of authors, number of papers and research topics


The number of papers published in zoology between 1978 and 1998 were 1308244, according to the Zoological Records (BIOSIS ®) and 15% of them reported studies on birds. Although the class Insecta had the largest number of papers in that period, more papers were published about mammals and birds than insects in proportion to the number of species in each taxonomic group. We found that the topics of the ornithological literature with more papers published were reproduction and breeding biology, population dynamics and biological conservation and wildlife management. The topics in ornithology with the largest increases in the number of papers were population dynamics (86%), physiology and biochemistry (79%) and predation (79%). The topics with the largest decreases were catalogues, checklists and atlases (-36%) and breeding biology (-21%). For other topics such as migration, habitat selection, behaviour or parasites, diseases and disorders, the number of papers published annually between 1978 and 1998 did not change significantly. We also found that the number of authors per paper in ornithology has increased from 1.03 in 1900 to 2.19 in 1998. In addition to these results, this review shows the exciting posibilities that libraries, personal computers and bibliographic databases will offer to ornithologists.

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