Biodiversity Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (12): 1317-1324.doi: 10.17520/biods.2016325

• Orginal Article • Previous Article     Next Article

Analysis of publication trends of biodiversity data papers

Junjie Li, Xiaolei Huang*()   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Ecological Pest Control for Fujian and Taiwan Crops, College of Plant Protection, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002
  • Received:2016-11-16 Accepted:2016-12-06 Online:2017-01-10
  • Huang Xiaolei

In recent years, there have been more and more appeals for sharing of biodiversity data. ‘Biodiversity data paper’ has been proposed as a reward mechanism for sharing data by individual scientists. Some data journals dedicated to publishing data papers have been founded. In this paper, we analyze the number of articles, coverage of biological groups, article views, and citations of two representative data journals (Biodiversity Data Journal and Scientific Data). Results show that the number of articles in both data journals has been steadily increasing. Biodiversity data papers cover a wide range of biological groups in Animalia, Plantae and Fungi. The article views and citations also show encouraging performance. These results indicate that data papers are being accepted by more and more researchers. Analysis of author regions of biodiversity data papers indicates a disequilibrium in the data sharing culture among different geographical regions. We suggest Chinese researchers and journals in related fields pay more attention to biodiversity data papers and trends of data sharing policies, as well as improving data sharing practices.

Key words: data sharing, data journal, open science, ecology, bibliometrics

Fig. 1

Time-series trends of article numbers of two data journals, Biodiversity Data Journal (a) and Scientific Data (b)"

Fig. 2

The coverage of biological groups in Biodiversity Data Journal papers: (a) All groups; (b) Insecta."

Fig. 3

Article numbers published by authors from different countries or regions. The 31 countries or regions with five and more articles are shown, and 38 countries or regions with articles less than five are not shown."

Table 1

The citation numbers of Scientific Data papers. ‘Article numbers’ in this table means the numbers of articles within certain citation ranges"

CrossRef citations
文章数量 Article
Scopus citations
0-5 77 0-5 53
5-10 10 5-10 14
10-15 4 10-15 5
15-20 4 15-20 2
20-25 1 20-25 2
25-30 2 25-30 1

Fig. 4

The unique view numbers of four types of articles (Taxonomic Paper, Data Paper, General Article, Software Description) in Biodiversity Data Journal (a) and Data Descriptor articles in Scientific Data (b)"

[1] Alsheikh-Ali AA, Qureshi W, Al-Mallah MH, Loannidis JPA (2011) Public availability of published research data in high-impact journals. PLoS ONE, 6, e24357.
[2] Cassey P, Blackburn TM (2006) Reproducibility and repeatability in ecology. BioScience, 56, 958-959.
[3] Chatterjee A, Ghosh A, Chakrabarti BK (2016) Universality of citation distributions for academic institutions and journals. PLoS ONE, 11, e0146762.
[4] Chavan V, Penev L (2011) The data paper: a mechanism to incentivize data publishing in biodiversity science. BMC Bioinformatics, 12(Suppl. 15), S2.
[5] Costello MJ, Michener WK, Gahegan M, Zhang ZQ, Bourne PE (2013) Biodiversity data should be published, cited, and peer reviewed. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 28, 454-461.
[6] De Wever A, Schmidt-Kloiber A, Gessner MO, Tockner K (2012) Freshwater journals unite to boost primary biodiversity data publication. BioScience, 62, 529-530.
[7] Fane B, Treadway J, Gallagher A, Penny D, Hahnel M (2016) Open season for open data: a survey of researchers. doi:
[8] Haddaway N, Pullin A (2013) Evidence-based conservation and evidence-informedpolicy: a response to Adams & Sandbrook. Oryx, 47, 336-338.
[9] Hampton SE, Strasser CA, Tewksbury JJ, Gram WK, Budden AE, Batcheller AL, Duke CS, Porter JH (2013) Big data and the future of ecology. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 11, 156-162.
[10] Huang XL, Hawkins BA, Lei FM, Miller GL, Favret C, Zhang RL, Qiao GX (2012) Willing or unwilling to share primary biodiversity data: results and implications of an international survey. Conservation Letters, 5, 399-406.
[11] Huang XL, Hawkins BA, Qiao GX (2013) Biodiversity data sharing: will peer-reviewed data papers work? BioScience, 63, 5-6.
[12] Huang XL, Qiao GX (2011) Biodiversity databases should gain support from journals. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 26, 377-378.
[13] Huang XL, Qiao GX (2014) Sharing and publishing of biodiversity data: recent trends and future suggestions. Biodiversity Science, 22, 293-301.(in Chinese with English abstract)
[黄晓磊, 乔格侠 (2014) 生物多样性数据共享和发表: 进展和建议. 生物多样性,22, 293-301.]
[14] Michener WK, Jones MB (2012) Ecoinformatics: supporting ecology as a data-intensive science. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 27, 85-93.
[15] Parker TH, Nakagawa S, Gurevitch J, IIEE Workshop Participants (2016) Promoting transparency in evolutionary biology and ecology. Ecology Letters, 19, 726-728.
[16] Pullin AS, Salafsky N (2010) Save the whales? Save the rainforest? Save the data! Conservation Biology, 24, 915-917.
[17] Reichman OJ, Jones MB, Schildhauer MP (2011) Challenges and opportunities of open data in Ecology. Science, 331, 703-705.
[18] Ryan MJ (2011) Replication in field biology: the case of the frog-eating bat. Science, 334, 1229-1230.
[19] Shapiro JT, Báldi A (2012) Lost locations and the (ir)repeatability of ecological studies. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 10, 235-236.
[20] Tenopir C, Allard S, Douglass K, Aydinoglu AU, Wu L, Read E, Manoff M, Frame M (2011) Data sharing by scientists: practices and perceptions. PLoS ONE, 6, e21101.
[21] Vines TH, Albert AYK, Andrew RL, Débarre F, Bock DG, Franklin MT, Gilbert KJ, Moore JS, Renaut S, Rennison DJ (2014) The availability of research data declines rapidly with article age. Current Biology, 24, 94-97.
[1] Chao Yue JInfeng Chang. (2020) Developments and applications for terrestrial biosphere model . Chin J Plant Ecol, 44(生态技术与方法专辑): 0-0.
[2] CUI Li, GUO Feng, ZHANG Jia-Lei, YANG Sha, WANG Jian-Guo, MENG Jing-Jing, GENG Yun, LI Xin-Guo, WAN Shu-Bo. (2019) Improvement of continuous microbial environment in peanut rhizosphere soil by Funneliformis mosseae . Chin J Plant Ecol, 43(8): 718-728.
[3] JIA Bing-Rui. (2019) Litter decomposition and its underlying mechanisms . Chin J Plant Ecol, 43(8): 648-657.
[4] XU Hao, HU Chao-Chen, XU Shi-Qi, SUN Xin-Chao, LIU Xue-Yan. (2018) Effects of exotic plant invasion on soil nitrogen availability . Chin J Plant Ecol, 42(11): 1120-1130.
[5] Chi Zhang, Bo Zhou, Jialong Wu, Meirong Lv, Xufei Chen, Zhongyou Yuan, Ling Xiao, Jun Dai. (2018) Application of earthworms on soil remediation in southern China . Biodiv Sci, 26(10): 1091-1102.
[6] Fenglin Zhang,Xin Wang,Jian Zhang. (2018) Biodiversity information resources. II. Environmental data . Biodiv Sci, 26(1): 53-65.
[7] Jian Zhang. (2017) Biodiversity science and macroecology in the era of big data . Biodiv Sci, 25(4): 355-363.
[8] Hang Sun,Tao Deng,Yongsheng Chen,Zhuo Zhou. (2017) Current research and development trends in floristic geography . Biodiv Sci, 25(2): 111-122.
[9] Chao LI, Shu-Qing ZHAO, Jing-Yun FANG. (2017) Vegetation cover change and driving factors in Fujian Province between 1975 and 2014 . Chin J Plan Ecolo, 41(2): 157-164.
[10] Wei Fu, Ning Wang, Fang Pang, Yulong Huang, Jun Wu, Shanshan Qi, Zhicong Dai, Daolin Du. (2017) Soil microbiota and plant invasions: current and future . Biodiv Sci, 25(12): 1295-1302.
[11] Xin Wang, Fenglin Zhang, Jian Zhang. (2017) Biodiversity information resources. I. Species distribution, catalogue, phylogeny, and life history traits . Biodiv Sci, 25(11): 1223-1238.
[12] Hua Feng,Wenhao Cao,Xiaoyang Tian,Zhiqiang Cheng,Tao Yan. (2016) Design and development of a data management system for marine fouling organisms . Biodiv Sci, 24(7): 838-846.
[13] Peng-Hong LIANG, Xiang-Ping WANG, Yu-Lian WU, Kai XU, Peng WU, Xin GUO. (2016) Growth responses of broad-leaf and Korean pine mixed forests at different successional stages to climate change in the Shengshan Nature Reserve of Heilongjiang Province, China . Chin J Plan Ecolo, 40(5): 425-435.
[14] Xiaolin Yu,Youbing Zhou,Wenting Xu,Zongqiang Xie. (2015) Principle and technical parameters for designing wildlife crossings on tourism roads in protected areas . Biodiv Sci, 23(6): 824-829.
[15] GONG Rong,GAO Qiong. (2015) Research progress in the effects of leaf hydraulic characteristics on plant physiological functions . Chin J Plan Ecolo, 39(3): 300-308.
Full text