Who is surprisingly well represented in your reference manager library?

As I worked on a manuscript recently, I wanted to add a reference to a paper by John K. Gilbert on concepts, misconceptions, and alternative conceptions and how they relate to science education (Gilbert & Watts, 1983). As I scrolled through my EndNote library, I was surprised by how many papers I had in there by the rotifer biologist John J. Gilbert—I felt like I was scrolling a long time to make it past Gilbert, J.J. in the database. This got me wondering: who else is surprisingly well-represented in my EndNote library? And who is in yours? (Feel free to substitute your preferred reference manager for “EndNote”, or to replace “EndNote library” with pdf library or, if you’re old school, folders in your filing cabinet.)

There are some people who I expect to have lots of papers by—my advisor or people whose work is closely linked to what I do (e.g., Dieter Ebert, based on his extensive work on Daphnia-parasite interactions, Anderson & May based on them developing the conceptual framework for studies of the ecology & evolution of infectious diseases). So, when I spend a while scrolling past the “Anderson” section in my EndNote library, I’m not surprised.

With some reflection, having so many of John Gilbert’s papers in my EndNote library makes sense—rotifers aren’t so different from Daphnia (and I did some work on them at one point), and we share interests in life history, phenotypic plasticity, and predator-prey interactions. Plus, he’s published a lot!

There’s no deep point in this post, but this topic led to some fun discussions with some colleagues, so I figured I’d turn it into a quick post. Whose work is surprisingly well-represented in your reference manager library/pdf library/filing cabinet?

5 thoughts on “Who is surprisingly well represented in your reference manager library?

  1. I don’t know that this is surprising, but Peter Abrams has more papers in my filing cabinet than anyone else. Only author for whom I need two file folders.

    I suppose some people might be surprised that I too have some papers from John Gilbert. My undergrad honors thesis involved rotifers so I read up on rotifers. And I visited his lab when I was deciding where to go to graduate school.

  2. My PhD supervisor Tony (AFG) Dixon has 224 entries in my EndNote library and four folders in my physical filing cabinet 🙂 I was very surprised to find that I outnumber him – 281. PS I only have 5 for Peter Abrams 🙂

    • I was surprised how much my academic lineage (PhD & Postdoc advisors and their advisors) were represented in mine too. Goes to show that there is something to academic lineages. Not in the elitist entitlement sense but just in tracing the thread of ideas and perspectives sense.

  3. Tilman was probably my most surprising overrrepresentation. Not surprising in the sense he has been prolific and influential.And I do have one paper on diversity-stability and I had a comps question on plant competition so that accounts for a few. But given that I don’t work on R* (or nutrients) or coexistence or biodiversity-ecosystem function I was surprised.

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