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Citation Classics of Ecology

Robert P. McIntosh
The Quarterly Review of Biology
Vol. 64, No. 1 (Mar., 1989), pp. 31-49
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2831684
Page Count: 19
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Citation Classics of Ecology
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Abstract

Identification of the most significant contributions, or classics, in the literature of a scientific discipline is difficult. Recent computer-based citation statistics make it possible to identify frequently cited articles published from 1947 to 1977 and designated "citation classics" between 1977 and 1986. These are reviewed to determine what may be learned about authors, institutions, journals publishing frequently cited ecological articles, and about the taxa, habitats and ecological topics represented in them. A comparison is made with other sources that identify articles of unusual interest. The "citation classics" identified as ecological do not provide a clear guide to all aspects of ecology, nor to all leading ecologists in the three decades covered. Nevertheless, they do identify a broad compass of recent concerns of ecologists and of notable contributors to ecology. Published reminiscences of authors concerning these publications also provide insights into motivations, stimuli, and problems in their research none of which appear in the scientific publications themselves.

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