2011 top cited papers – part 3

Welcome to part 3 of our review of the most highly cited papers published by Methods in Ecology and Evolution in 2011. In case you missed them, here are part 1 and part 2 of this series.

Population monitoring and management

Climate change

Evolutionary ecology and phylogenomics

Top papers for August

How safe is mist netting? Evaluating the risk of injury and mortality to birds remains our most highly accessed article for the second month in a row – just managing to stay ahead of RNCEP: global weather and climate data at your fingertips, which has been receiving fantastic interest since we published it in July of this year. This open source package, written in R, is intended to help ecologists integrate long-term atmospheric data into their research, and the published application note is, of course, free to access.

Other papers making a splash include Holger Schielzeth’s Simple means to improve the interpretability of regression coefficients, which was recently rated a “must read” on F1000, and Comparative interpretation of count, presence–absence and point methods for species distribution models, published at the start of the month, by Geert Aarts, John Fieberg and Jason Matthiopoulos.

Top cited papers – part 3

Welcome back for the final part of our look at the most highly cited papers published by Methods in Ecology and Evolution so far, as recorded by ISI. (Don’t forget to look back at the first two parts, if you missed them previously!)

Population monitoring

Climate change

Evolutionary ecology and phylogenomics

Top papers for June

Open access research papers, freely available applications, and papers supported by podcasts continued to be our most popular publications for June.

Open papers How safe is mist netting? Evaluating the risk of injury and mortality to birds, by Spotswood et al., and A simple method for in situ-labelling with 15N and 13C of grassland plant species by foliar brushing, by Putz et al., both received a lot of downloads, with How safe is mist netting? – the first large-scale analysis of the risks involved in mist netting – being featured on the Guardian science blogs, and in Conservation and Birdwatch magazines.

Applications – all freely available – likewise continue to be highly downloaded, with several new arrivals just falling short of being among our most popular papers for this month.

Finally, as ever, papers accompanied by podcasts have continued to be popular, with Getting started with meta-analysis, The art of modelling range-shifting species, and Fine-scale environmental variation in species distribution modelling all featuring among the month’s top ten most downloaded.



Top papers for April

Although regular readers may find April’s most frequently accessed papers quite familiar, there are several interesting changes.

The one to watch for April was Factors and mechanisms explaining spatial heterogeneity: a review of methods for insect populations, by Vinatier et al., which nearly quadrupled in popularity to become the month’s second most accessed paper. It’s currently available to download for free, so do take advantage! Also showing a big upswing in interest was A unified approach to model selection using the likelihood ratio test, by Lewis et al., which saw a similar surge, and is  accompanied by an instructive video tutorial available on Youtube.

But, while there was some movement further down the chart, Freya Harrison’s Getting started with meta-analysis remains firmly in place as the month’s most popular paper, with a sizeable lead over its closest rival. You can listen to Freya talking about the ideas behind her paper in the accompanying podcast.

Top papers for March

March may be a distant memory to some, but at the Methods in Ecology and Evolution office it’s very much on our minds as we’ve just received the March update to our top papers.

Freya Harrison’s review article on getting started with meta-analysis remains our most downloaded paper (and you can listen to a podcast on getting started with meta-analysis if you’re pushed for time!), while our application papers continue to be excellently represented, with three of the four currently available continuing to stay within our top ten downloaded papers. A protocol for data exploration to avoid common statistical problems,  by Alain F. Zuur, Elena N. Ieno and Chris S. Elphick, and Methods for collaboratively identifying research priorities and emerging issues in science and policy, by William J. Sutherland, Erica Fleishman, Michael B. Mascia, Jules Pretty and Murray A. Rudd, also continue to rank among our most popular papers.

The paper attracting by far the largest number of abstract views was  Honey bee risk assessment: new approaches for in vitro larvae rearing and data analyses, by Harmen P. Hendriksma, Stephan Härtel  and Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter, which was the subject of a press release towards the end of March, and received some lovely coverage from National Geographic Deutschland, Wired UK and Dutch channel Wetenschap24.

Top papers for February

We’ve just been given the latest stats on our top downloaded articles for February, which make for some interesting reading. As you will (hopefully!) already know, Methods in Ecology and Evolution switched from being free for all to opt-in only at the start of this year, and we’ve seen some dramatic changes in download patterns since the switchover.

Our Application papers have been heavily downloaded over the past month, no doubt aided by our recent decision to make them free to access for everyone. We’ve also seen high downloads of papers with strong online extras, such as the amazing footage accompanying A capture-recapture model for exploring multi-species synchrony in survival, by Lahoz-Monfort et al., and the fascinating explanation of the methodologies and equipment involved in Non-intrusive monitoring of atmospheric CO2 in analogue models of terrestrial carbon cycle, by Lukac et al. Our papers with author podcasts have also received a high level of interest, with Freya Harrison’s Getting started with meta-analysis our top paper for February 2011.

It’s really great to see the effort these authors have put into their papers paying off, and I hope that this will encourage future authors to really take advantage of the facilities we have for supporting the use of online enhancements, and in turn help increase the uptake of new methodologies by the wider research community.