I just learned that Maria Servedio is conducting an interesting survey of theoreticians in EEB as to whether their theoretical work is correctly cited in empirical papers. See below for details. It’s a very interesting little survey so I encourage you to complete it if it applies to you. I’m told that Maria’s sample so far is dominated by evolutionary theoreticians, and so it would be great to have more ecological theoreticians in the survey so as to enable among-field comparisons.
Here’s Maria’s email:
Dear Theory friends and colleagues, (please pass this on to others if you wish!)
I am writing to ask if you would be willing to participate as a subject in a small analysis that I’m doing as part of an introduction to a symposium issue (to be published in Am Nat). After I explain, you may find that you are interested in the results that you would find anyway! The analysis is about the correctness of citations to theoretical studies in non-theoretical studies. I am looking for each participant to chose one of their theoretical models (“pure” theory, for this purpose, not connected to data) and assess the correctness of 10 citations to it in empirical studies or reviews.
Specifically, I would ask that you do the following:
1) choose the theoretical paper (“pure” theory) of yours that has closest to 40 citations (this is just to not bias towards the best cited, oldest, etc)
2) choose 10 papers towards the middle of those citations (by year) that are not in other theory papers (if you can’t find 10 just include fewer)
3) categorize these as
A) “general to topic” (e.g., they added your paper in a list of other general ones about the evolution of sex, range limits, ecological coexistence, etc).
B) “specific and appropriate” (e.g., they correctly referenced one of your findings in the study)
C) “incorrect” (e.g., they misrepresented what you found, you didn’t make that point in your study, or it’s the wrong topic!)
If you are willing to participate I would list your name as a participant in the analysis in the paper, unless of course you wish to remain anonymous.
I am sure you can gather that I’m asking theoreticians to assess their own papers because who better to gauge, without (or with hopefully very minimal!) error, which category their paper fits best into.
If you are willing/able to participate I would need your data by Sept 23
, to firstname.lastname@example.org
. Please let me know ahead time if you plan to participate, so I can be on the lookout for your response.