Last year I had some fun with a contest inviting readers to guess the most-cited ecology paper published in the last 10 years. So I’ve decided to hold another contest, based on older papers. This time, your task is to guess the most-cited ecology papers published in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.
Here’s how it works: in the comments, list your guesses for the most cited ecology paper published in each of those three decades. One paper per decade. You get 10 points for guessing the most cited paper in a given decade, 9 points for guessing the second most cited paper in a given decade, etc., down to 1 point for guessing the tenth most cited paper in a given decade. And there’s a 5 point bonus if your guesses include the number one most-cited paper published in this entire 30 year period. Whoever scores the most points wins!
I’ve already looked up the answers. Hopefully my background research is better than it was last time! Though if it isn’t, don’t worry–I’ll look up the citation counts for all papers guessed. However, I reserve the right to award no points for any guesses I don’t consider to be ecology papers.
Because I’m such a nice guy, I’ll give you a few hints to help you out. 😉 These hints reflect my background research, and so will be misleading if my background research is way off. But I don’t think that’s the case…
- The vast majority of point-scoring papers appear to be from ecology journals, as opposed to general science journals.
- Don’t bother biasing your guesses towards papers published early in each decade. All of these papers have had plenty of time to accumulate lots of citations.
- There aren’t any point-scoring interdisciplinary papers as far as I can tell, in contrast to the previous contest. Indeed, pretty much every point-scoring paper is quite clearly an ecology paper; there really aren’t any borderline cases.
- The most-cited paper from this 30 year period is from the 1980s.
- I leave it to you to consider whether review papers and methods papers from these decades are particularly likely to be highly-cited or not. On the one hand, reviews and methods papers do tend to be more cited than research papers. On the other hand, the field of ecology, and its methods, has moved on considerably even since the 1990s, and certainly since the 1970s. Once-important reviews and methods papers may now be outdated and so may not have accumulated as many citations as you think.
No cheating and searching any databases, obviously!
I’ll buy the winner a drink at the ESA meeting in Minneapolis.
You have until Saturday, June 8 to submit your guesses. I’ll announce the winners on Monday, June 10. Good luck!