The use of the term ‘limnology’ and its scientometrics consequences for limnologists

https://doi.org/10.4081/jlimnol.2021.2042

Authors

Abstract

Jargon is the specialised vocabulary of any science: it allows the creation of new terms to define concepts and it removes ambiguity from scientific communication. Yet, it may also hinder understanding for a broader audience. Given that the Journal of Limnology has jargon in its title, we here investigate the impact of the term ‘limnology’ on the way limnologists work, publish their research, and attract the interest of other scientists. We do so by comparing scientometric features of papers published from 1965 to 2020 that used the term ‘limnology’ against papers on similar topics but that used the term ‘lake ecology’ or ‘hydrobiology’, and to the marine counterpart of papers that used the term ‘oceanography’. We found that papers using the term limnology score worse than those of the other topics in terms of both publication output and scientific impact. Limnologists may need to use other terms in addition to ‘limnology’ to reach a broader scientific audience.

Dimensions

Altmetric

PlumX Metrics

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Abramo G, D’Angelo C, Di Costa F, 2010. Citations versus journal impact factor as proxy of quality: could the latter ever be preferable? Scientometrics 84:821-833. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-010-0200-1

Adams DC, Bitetti MSD, Janson CH, Slobodkin LB, Valenzuela N, 1997. An ‘Audience effect’ for ecological terminology: use and misuse of Jargon. Oikos 80:632-636. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/3546641

Ahlgren P, Colliander C, Sjögårde P, 2018. Exploring the relation between referencing practices and citation impact: a large-scale study based on Web of Science data. J. Ass. Inf. Sci. Tech. 69:728-743. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.23986

Aksnes DW, Langfeldt L, Wouters P, 2019. Citations, citation indicators, and research quality: an overview of basic concepts and theories. SAGE Open, 9(1), 2158244019829575. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244019829575

Anderson SC, Elsen PR, Hughes BB, Tonietto RK, Bletz MC, Gill DA, Holgerson MA, Kuebbing SE, McDonough MacKenzie C, Meek MH, Veríssimo D, 2021. Trends in ecology and conservation over eight decades. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 19:274-282. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/fee.2320

Ball P, 2017. It's not just you: science papers are getting harder to read. Nature. Available from: https://www.nature.com/articles/nature.2017.21751 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/nature.2017.21751

Barnett A, Doubleday Z, 2020. Meta-research: The growth of acronyms in the scientific literature. Elife 9:e60080. DOI: https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.60080

Benoit K, Watanabe K, Wang H, Nulty P, Obeng A, Müller S, Matsuo A, 2018. quanteda: An R package for the quantitative analysis of textual data. J. Open Source Soft. 3:774. DOI: https://doi.org/10.21105/joss.00774

Bertoni R., 2018. Laghi e scienza: introduzione alla limnologia. eBook, 256 pp. Downloaded at http://www.aiol.info/wp-content/uploads/Laghi-e-Scienza-100618.pdf

Bertoni R, Bertoni F, 2021. Preserving the heritage of limnology in Italy. J. Limnol. 80:2018. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4081/jlimnol.2021.2018

Bornmann L, Mutz R, 2015. Growth rates of modern science: A bibliometric analysis based on the number of publications and cited references. J. Ass. Inf. Sci. Tech. 66:2215-2222. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.23329

Bullock OM, Colón Amill D, Shulman HC, Dixon GN, 2019. Jargon as a barrier to effective science communication: Evidence from metacognition. Publ. Underst. Sci. 28:845-853. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0963662519865687

Castelvecchi D, 2015. Physics paper sets record with more than 5,000 authors. Nature News, https://doi.org/10.1038/nature.2015.17567 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/nature.2015.17567

Crawley MJ, 2012. The R Book. Wiley, Chichester, UK. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118448908

De Rond M, Miller AN, 2005. Publish or perish: bane or boon of academic life?. J. Manag. Inq. 14:321-329. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1056492605276850

Deng B, 2015. Papers with shorter titles get more citations. Nature. Available from: https://www.nature.com/articles/nature.2015.18246 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/nature.2015.18246

Elango B, Rajendran P, 2012. Authorship trends and collaboration pattern in the marine sciences literature: a scientometric study. Int. J. Inform. Dissem. Tech. 2:166.

Evans JA, 2008. Electronic publication and the narrowing of science and scholarship. Science 321:395. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1150473

Falkenberg LJ, Tubb A, 2017. Undisciplined thinking facilitates accessible writing: A response to Doubleday and Connell. Trends Ecol. Evol. 32:894-895. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2017.09.009

Flesch R, 1948. A new readability yardstick. J. Appl. Psychol. 32:221-233. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/h0057532

Forel FA, 1892-1904. Le Léman: monographie limnologique. F. Rouge, Lausanne. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5962/bhl.title.124608

Fox CW, Paine CT, Sauterey B, 2016. Citations increase with manuscript length, author number, and references cited in ecology journals. Ecol. Evol. 6:7717-7726. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.2505

Habibzadeh F, Yadollahie M, 2010. Are shorter article titles more attractive for citations? Crosssectional study of 22 scientific journals. Croatian Med. J. 51:165-170. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3325/cmj.2010.51.165

Hastie T, 2020. gam: Generalized Additive Models. R package version 1.20. https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=gam

Hortal J, Nabout JC, Calatayud J, Carneiro FM, Padial A, Santos AMC, Siqueira T, Bokma F, Bini LM, Ventura M, 2014. Perspectives on the use of lakes and ponds as model systems for macroecological research. J. Limnol. 73(s1):46-60. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4081/jlimnol.2014.887

Hirst R, 2003. Scientific jargon, good and bad. J. Tech. Wri. Commun. 33:201-229. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2190/J8JJ-4YD0-4R00-G5N0

Itescu Y, 2019. Are island‐like systems biologically similar to islands? A review of the evidence. Ecography 42:1298-1314. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.03951

Jaffe AB, Trajtenberg M, 2002. Patents, citations, and innovations: A window on the knowledge economy. MIT press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/5263.001.0001

Kumaresan R, Vinitha K, Kannan K, 2016. Journal of Aquatic Ecology (2005-2014): A Bibliometric Study. IALA-Journal 4:12-20.

Lei L, Yan S, 2016. Readability and citations in information science: evidence from abstracts and articles of four journals (2003–2012). Scientometrics 108:1155-1169. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-016-2036-9

Leimu R, Koricheva J, 2005a. Does scientific collaboration increase the impact of ecological articles?. BioScience 55:438-443. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1641/0006-3568(2005)055[0438:DSCITI]2.0.CO;2

Leimu R, Koricheva J, 2005b. What determines the citation frequency of ecological papers?. Trends Ecol. Evol. 20:28-32. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2004.10.010

Lenth RV, 2020. emmeans: estimated marginal means, aka least-squares means. R package version 1.5.3. https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=emmeans

Letchford A, Moat HS, Preis T, 2015. The advantage of short paper titles. Royal Society Open Science 2:150266. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.150266

Lüdecke D, Makowski D, Waggoner P, Patil I, 2020. Assessment of regression models performance. CRAN. Available from https://easystats.github.io/performance/

Mabe MA, Amin M, 2002. Dr Jekyll and Dr Hyde: author‐reader asymmetries in scholarly publishing. In Aslib Proceedings 54:149-157. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/00012530210441692

Mammola S, Fontaneto D, Martínez A, Chichorro F, 2021. Impact of the reference list features on the number of citations. Scientometrics 126:785-799. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-020-03759-0

Martínez A, Mammola S, 2021. Specialized terminology reduces the number of citations of scientific papers. Proc. R. Soc. B. 288:20202581. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2020.2581

McCannon BC, 2019. Readability and research impact. Econom. Lett. 180:76-79. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.econlet.2019.02.017

Montgomery SL, 1989. The cult of jargon: reflections on language in science. Sci. Cult. 1:42-77. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09505438909526248

Nation I, 2006. How large a vocabulary is needed for reading and listening? Canad. Mod. Lang. Rev. 63:59-82. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3138/cmlr.63.1.59

Neuwirth E, 2014. RColorBrewer: ColorBrewer palettes. R package version 1.1-2. https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=RColorBrewer

Nieminen P, Carpenter J, Rucker G, Schumacher M, 2006. The relationship between quality of research and citation frequency. BMC Med. Res. Meth. 6:42. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2288-6-42

Orwell G, 1946. Politics and the English language. Horizon 13:252-265.

Plavén-Sigray P, Matheson GJ, Schiffler BC, Thompson WH, 2017. The readability of scientific texts is decreasing over time. Elife 6:e27725. DOI: https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.27725

Poncet P, 2019. bazar: miscellaneous basic functions. R package version 1.0.11. https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=bazar

R Core Team, 2020. R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. URL https://www.R-project.org/

Regalado A, 1995. Multiauthor papers on the rise. Science 268:25-26. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.7701334

Ryan JN, 1985. The secret language of science or, radicals in the classroom. Am. Biol. Teach. 47:91-91. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/4447957

Tahamtan I, Afshar AS, Ahamdzadeh K, 2016. Factors affecting number of citations: a comprehensive review of the literature. Scientometrics 107:1195-1225. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-016-1889-2

Todd P, Ladle R, 2008. Citations: poor practices by authors reduce their value. Nature 451:244. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/451244b

van Rij J, Wieling M, Baayen R, van Rijn H, 2020. itsadug: Interpreting Time Series and Autocorrelated Data Using GAMMs. R package version 2.4.

Vincent WF, Bertola C, 2014. Lake physics to ecosystem services: Forel and the origins of limnology. Limnol. Oceanogr. e-Lect. 4:1-47. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4319/lol.2014.wvincent.cbertola.8

Wickham H, 2016. ggplot2: elegant graphics for data analysis. Springer-Verlag New York. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-24277-4_9

Wickham H, 2020. tidyr: tidy messy data. R package version 1.1.2. https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=tidyr

Wickham H, François R, Henry L, Müller K, 2021. dplyr: A grammar of data manipulation. R package version 1.0.3. https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=dplyr DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4842-6876-6_1

Wood SN, 2017. Generalized Additive Models: An Introduction with R (2nd edition). Chapman and Hall/CRC. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1201/9781315370279

Yitzhaki M, 2002. Relation of the title length of a journal article to the length of the article. Scientometrics 54:435-447. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1016038617639

Zeng A, Shen Z, Zhou J, Wu J, Fan Y, Wang Y, Stanley HE, 2017. The science of science: From the perspective of complex systems. Phys. Rep. 714:1-73. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physrep.2017.10.001

Zukswert JM, Barker MK, McDonnell L, 2019. Identifying troublesome jargon in biology: Discrepancies between student performance and perceived understanding. CBE—Life Sci. Ed. 18:ar6. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.17-07-0118

Published
2021-07-30
Info
Issue
Section
80 Years of the Journal of Limnology
Keywords:
Aquatic ecology, bibliometrics, citations, hydrobiology, jargon, lake ecology, oceanography
Statistics
  • Abstract views: 179

  • PDF_early view: 43
  • Dataset: 0
  • Supplementary Table 1: 12
  • Supplementary Table 2: 7
How to Cite
1.
Fontaneto D, Martínez A, Mammola S, Marchetto A. The use of the term ‘limnology’ and its scientometrics consequences for limnologists. J Limnol [Internet]. 2021 Jul. 30 [cited 2021 Sep. 24];. Available from: https://jlimnol.it/index.php/jlimnol/article/view/2042

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 > >>