Biodiv Sci ›› 2012, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (5): 535-550.  DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2012.16156

Special Issue: 创刊20周年纪念专刊

• Editorial • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A retrospective evaluation of Biodiversity Science over the past 20 years

Keping Ma*(), Yurong Zhou   

  1. Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093
  • Received:2012-07-20 Accepted:2012-08-10 Online:2012-09-20 Published:2012-09-07
  • Contact: Keping Ma


Since Biodiversity Science (formerly Chinese Biodiversity) was founded in October 1993 by the Biodiversity Committee of Chinese Academy of Sciences, it has been well received by authors and readers in China. The scope and focus of the journal that put forward by the first Editor-in-chief, Prof. Yingqian Qian have been well carried out by his successors. As the only nationwide academic journal in China, the Journal specifically addresses the major issues of biodiversity, and comprehensively reports on achievements in the field of biodiversity research. To gain an overview of the Journal, we analyzed publication trends including study organisms and subject areas, authors and affiliation, funding agency, and citation frequency based on data from the database CNKI and the Journal’s website. Major research topics included biological invasion, biodiversity and global change, DNA barcoding, biodiversity monitoring, phylodiversity, biodiversity informatics, along with research regarding the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Overall, 13 special issues/special features were published since 2000. Among 1,189 papers (excluding four English supplements), 149 papers were on species diversity, 113 papers on genetic diversity, and 38 papers on ecosystem diversity. Studies on plant diversity and animal diversity represented a significant proportion of the publications, whereas few papers were published on microbial diversity. Among all the authors, Fang Jingyun ranked first with 41 papers, followed by Ma Keping (31 papers), and Chen Jiakuan (22 papers). The top 10 authors in terms of number of published papers came from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Peking University, and Fudan University. The mean number of authors per paper was ~1.5 in 1993 and increased to ~4 in 2011, showing increased collaboration in the study work. Concordantly, the mean number of pages per paper increased from 5 pages of 1993 to ~10 pages of 2011. There were more than 200 papers that were cited >400 times, with the largest up to 970 (as of August 10, 2012). This resulted in two peaks of papers with high citation numbers in 1993-1994 (50 times per paper) and 1998-2004 (40 times per paper). Papers were mainly from projects financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The Journal has been ranked one of the leading scientific journals in the field of biology in the country. However, the Journal faces strong competition from international journals. Based on our findings, we provide corresponding countermeasures and suggestions.

Key words: biodiversity science, research priorities, citation, challenge, strategy