Dynamic Ecology 2017 year in review

Stats and brief reflections on our 5th blogging year. (Jeebus, five years already?!)

Our most popular new posts of 2017

Many of our most popular posts each year are old ones that come up high in Google’s results for common searches. And of course, posts published late in the year don’t have as much opportunity to accumulate pageviews. But whatever, here are the most-viewed posts we published this year.

  1. The day I broke some Twitter feeds: insights into sexism in academia, part 1. Guest poster Gina Baucom broke some more Twitter feeds when this powerful post went viral. Our most-read new post this year by some distance.
  2. Tips for negotiating salary and startup for newly-hired tenure-track faculty. A group post that I expect will continue to rack up page views for a long time, even though none of the advice is original to us.
  3. The day I broke some Twitter feeds: insights into sexism in academia, part 2. Gina Baucom’s follow-up to post #1 on this list.
  4. You can’t estimate your odds of getting a faculty job from common quantitative metrics. The popularity of this one surprised me a little; I’d have thought most people already knew everything that was in this post. But perhaps it shouldn’t have surprised me. One of the things I’ve learned from 5 years of blogging is not to assume that something is widely known just because you happen to know it. I bet every long time blogger has come to the same realization (as have many people who aren’t bloggers, of course).
  5. Imposter syndrome and cognitive distortions: some thoughts and poorly-drawn cartoons. I’ve already shown this post of Meghan’s to one mentee with whom it really resonated; I’m sure I’ll have occasion to do so again in future.
  6. Mentoring plans: a really useful tool for PIs and their lab members. Also by Meghan.
  7. Reflections on the one year anniversary of my anxiety post. Meghan’s third post in a row on this list. I know Meghan wasn’t able to post as much this year as she was originally hoping too, but man, when she is able to post she sure makes it count.
  8. NSF Bio directorate cancels DDIG program. Unusual for us: a news item.
  9. Don’t force your regression through zero just because you know the true intercept has to be zero. Technical statistical issues: the inexhaustible source of popular posts. 🙂 (UPDATE: link fixed)
  10. What kind of scientific crisis is the field of ecology having? Hard as it may be to believe in light of the 10,000 comments Brian’s statistical machismo posts continue to draw, this was his most-viewed new post of the year.

Jeremy’s reflections on the year

First, a big thank-you to all our readers and commenters. You’re why we blog, and we remain happy and humbled that you find this blog worth your time.

Our total pageviews were almost exactly the same as last year, confirmation that we really have reached our carrying capacity. We got about the same number of comments too, which is reassuring. Our comment threads have become less active over the years, relative to the number of pageviews we get. But the decline in the absolute number of comments we get seems to have stopped, at least for the moment.

As usual, our most popular posts of the year mostly aren’t my personal favorites. I thought my post on the two kinds of ecologists did a good job of articulating something important but often overlooked, and it got a good discussion going. I enjoyed writing my little mini-series on “stylized facts” (e.g., this), and appreciated the thoughtful comments. And I think my post compiling data on the gender balance of newly-hired N. American assistant professors of ecology is some of the most important blogging I’ve done. It documents systemic progress that isn’t nearly as widely known as it should be (so in case you didn’t know: recently-hired N. American tenure-track asst. professors of ecology are 57% women). I confess I was bummed it didn’t get more pageviews; heck, many of our Friday linkfests got more pageviews. (EDIT: Just remembered this post on why I’m just not that into [some] trait-based ecology. I think it’s a good example of thinking out loud about an interesting question of professional judgment, and I think I the style is entertaining and accessible.)

In terms of my personal favorites from other authors, I thought Brian’s poll on people’s experiences with “statistical machismo” was a great idea. His post-fact world posts (e.g.) were meaty and led to some very thoughtful pushback. I also really liked his taxonomy of scientific crises, linked to earlier. As noted above, I thought Meghan’s cartoons about imposter syndrome were very effective (in part because they were poorly drawn :-). I’m sure I’ll share them with many mentees. I also really appreciated her post advising you to work at the times that work for you. I thought it said something that needed saying. And I learned a lot from our series of guest posts on doing ecology in developing countries (here’s the capstone post in the series).

My main hope for the blog for 2018 is that Meghan and Brian will be able to post more. All three of us are busy, and so we do our best to squeeze in blogging around other obligations. So to everybody who keeps asking Meghan and Brian to do stuff: please stop so that they have more time to blog. 😉



4 thoughts on “Dynamic Ecology 2017 year in review

  1. Thanks to all of you, you do a great job and provide an important forum for the ecology community and the larger scientific community. I really appreciate it. J

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