NCEAS Project 12120

Occurrence of publication bias in ecology

  • Amber E. Budden

ActivityDatesFurther Information
No activities scheduled at this time.

Abstract
Metrics associated with publications such as citation rates and impact factors are widely used in the evaluation of academics, departments and institutions. However, factors other than the intrinsic quality of a manuscript can affect its publication and dissemination. Publication bias can be perceived as the extent to which the relative perceived merit of work predicts the relative actual merit of the work and such biases can affect both the publications available to the community, funding allocation, and potentially the career trajectories of researchers. General biases previously detected include the file drawer problem, over-interpretation of data, dissemination bias, institutional or individual status bias, and gender bias. However, the degree or prevalence of these factors has not been extensively explored within the discipline of ecology. Using survey data from multiple sources, online databases and bibliometric methods I aim to evaluate the utility of current metrics, explore the incidence of biases associated with publication and dissemination of material and determine the potential impact of publication bias with respect to the composition of the working and publishing ecological community. I also intend to develop and advocate for best practices to be used by journals, editors, reviewers and authors. For example, preliminary research has demonstrated that the process of double-blind review may serve to reduce non-conscious bias against female authors. This review method is not widely practiced in ecology and I am currently examining community response to double-blind review and evaluating both the benefits and challenges associated with implementing double-blind review practices.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Journal Article Borsuk, Robyn; Budden, Amber E.; Leimu, Roosa; Aarssen, Lonnie W.; Lortie, Christopher J. 2009. The influence of author gender, national language, and number of authors on citation frequency in ecology. Open Ecology Journal. Vol: 2. Pages 25-28.
Journal Article Budden, Amber E.; Aarssen, Lonnie W.; Koricheva, Julia; Leimu, Roosa; Lortie, Christopher J.; Tregenza, Tom. 2008. Does double-blind review favor female authors? Reply. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Vol: 6(7). Pages 354-355.
Journal Article Budden, Amber E.; Tregenza, Tom; Aarssen, Lonnie W.; Koricheva, Julia; Leimu, Roosa; Lortie, Christopher J. 2008. Double-blind review favours increased representation of female authors. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. Vol: 23(1). Pages 4-6.
Journal Article Budden, Amber E.; Wright, Jonathan. 2008. Effects of feeding frequency on nestling begging and digestion. Ibis. Vol: 150. Pages 234-241.
Journal Article Budden, Amber E.; Lortie, Christopher J.; Tregenza, Tom; Aarssen, Lonnie W.; Koricheva, Julia; Leimu, Roosa. 2008. Response to Webb et al.: Double-blind review: accept with minor revisions. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. Vol: 23(7). Pages 353-354.
Journal Article Budden, Amber E.; Aarssen, Lonnie W.; Koricheva, Julia; Leimu, Roosa; Lortie, Christopher J.; Tregenza, Tom. 2008. Response to Whittaker: Challenges in testing for gender bias. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. Vol: 23(9). Pages 480-481.
Journal Article Budden, Amber E.; Beissinger, Steve. 2009. Resource allocation varies with parental sex and brood size in the asynchronously hatching green-rumped parrotlet (Forpus passerinus). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. Vol: 63. Pages 637–647.
Journal Article Budden, Amber E.; Dickinson, Janis L. 2009. Signals of quality and age: The information content of multiple plumage ornaments in male western bluebirds Sialia mexicana. Journal of Avian Biology. Vol: 40. Pages 18-27.
Journal Article Grod, Olyana; Budden, Amber E.; Tregenza, Tom; Koricheva, Julia; Leimu, Roosa; Aarssen, Lonnie W.; Lortie, Christopher J. 2008. Systematic variation in reviewer practice according to country and gender in the field of ecology and evolution. PLoS ONE. Vol: 3(9). Pages e3202.
Journal Article Grod, Olyana; Lortie, Christopher J.; Budden, Amber E. 2010. Behind the shroud: A survey of editors in ecology and evolution. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Vol: 8(4). Pages 187-192.
Journal Article Hopfensperger, Kristine; Soykan, Candan U.; Lookingbill, Todd; Budden, Amber E. 2008. The quest for an ecological postdoc. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Vol: 6. Pages 49-50.
Journal Article Leimu, Roosa; Lortie, Christopher J.; Aarssen, Lonnie W.; Budden, Amber E.; Koricheva, Julia; Tregenza, Tom. 2008. Does it pay to have a 'bigwig' as a co-author?. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Vol: 6. Pages 410-411.
Journal Article Leimu, Roosa; Lortie, Christopher J.; Tregenza, Tom; Koricheva, Julia; Budden, Amber E.; Aarssen, Lonnie W. 2008. How big are bigwigs?: A reply to Havens. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Vol: 6. Pages 523.