Subject: Professional Ornithology Societies, once again?
Date: Nov 7 15:58:28 1994
From: Museum Informatics Project - mip-arch at garnet.berkeley.edu


A while back I asked in tweeters (see bottom) for opinions/information
regarding what differences there might be among the several prominent
US ornithological societies. No one responded, so I took another tack.

Making some very tenuous assumptions, I reasoned the following.

1. I had handy a recent general book about NA birds that contained lots
of citations --Erlich, Dobkin and Wheye, The Birders Handbook, 885+ pgs,
1988.

This book discusses the biology/ecology/behavior/etc of "all" NA birds.

2. This book cites roughly 1664 articles and other sources (approx.
26 cites/page x 64pgs) of information.

Explaining the "References", the authors state "Citations ... direct you
to sources ... that can give you further information on a species. ...
Whenever possible we have tried to list two or three recent references
for a species in order to provide entry to the literature relevant
to that species. We have tried to select recent papers with wide-ranging
references, even if the topic of that paper is narrow."

3. I figured that given 1664 references cited, and covering "all" birds,
that this was a substantial cross-section sample of the existing
literature, and that I could obtain a rough idea of how much four
prominent bird journals contributed to that literature --AUK, CONDOR,
WILSON Bull., and IBIS.

4. In scanning the bibliography to find these journals, it appeared to me
that they were the most cited of journals/works, with the probable
exception of IBIS; perhaps SCIENCE, American Birds, and some others(?)
were cited more than IBIS. It also seemed that the subject matter,
as inferred from the article titles, ranged widely in all these journals.

The resulting numbers are presented below. These four journals accounted for
forty percent of the titles cited. My interpretation of these numbers is
that AUK and CONDOR run head to head, leading substantially in "productivity"
and implying that their society members are the leaders in ornithological
research (some real stretches from my assumptions...!).

I'd still like to hear from someone who really _knows_ what the story on
the several societies is. (And, who publishes these journals, anyway?)
Anyone?
Peter
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Journal Cited AUK CONDOR WILSON IBIS Total
--- ------ ------ ---- -----
No_Articles Cited 282 250 100 35 667
No_Pages/Journal Cited 2752 2210 998 714 6674
Ave No_Pages Cited 9.76 8.84 9.98 20.4* 10
Max_Pages Cited 47 55 33 222
Min_Pages Cited 1 1 1 2

(* IBIS Ave=14.5 if the one long 222-page citation is removed.)

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> Date: Fri, 23 Sep 94 10:50:13 -0700
> From: mip-arch at garnet.berkeley.edu (Museum Informatics Project)
> To: Multiple recipients of list <tweeters at u.washington.edu>
> Subject: Re: Professional Ornithology Societies (fwd)
>
> Regarding the recent (BIRDCHAT cross-)post about US ornithological
> societies and their membership fees/addresses, I have this politically
> incorrect question....
>
> Is anyone with the knowledge willing to stand up and describe the
> differences/strengths/weaknesses/reasons of the various professional
> ornith. socs? (for those of us who are not prof. ornithol.s)
> Peter Rauch