New Zealand Journal of Ecology (2001) 25(1): 101- 106

Publishing by New Zealand and Australian ecologists: trends and comparisons

Forum Article
Wayne L. Linklater 1,*
Elissa Z. Cameron 1,2
  1. Ecology Group, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University, Private Bag 11-222, Palmerston North, New Zealand
  2. Current address: Meerkat Project, Large Animal Research Group, Cambridge University and Mammal Research Institute, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
*  Corresponding author

Publishing trends in the New Zealand and Australian Journals' of Ecology (NZJE and AJE) were compared (1953-97) and publishing by contemporary (1997) Australasian authors examined from mid-1995 to 1998. The NZJE published a smaller proportion (9%) of their authors total manuscripts than the AJE (13%). Both Journals' authors published almost 70% of their manuscripts in international journals and 31% (NZ) and 35% (Aust.) in their local journals. The AJE consistently contained a high proportion (80%) of papers on the fundamental ecology of native: species. In contrast, the NZJE gradually increased the proportion of papers on the ecology, impacts and management of exotic species (13%, 1953-62 to 52%, 1993-97) and reduced the proportion of manuscripts investigating the fundamental ecology of native species from 67% (1953-62) to 28% (1993-97). Comparisons show that the difference between the journals is due to a fundamental difference in the emphasis of ecological research in Australia and New Zealand that can, in part, be attributed to differences in the relative contribution of government research agencies to publishing in ecology in the two countries. Government research agencies contribute relatively more to ecological publishing in and from New Zealand than they do in Australia. However, the differences were also amplified by different submission behaviour by Australian and New Zealand authors. When submitting manuscripts about the ecology of native species and ecosystems, New Zealand ecologists favoured international journals rather than the NZJE, and local journals generally. Australian ecologists, on the other hand, favoured international journals over the AJE when submitting manuscripts on the ecology, impacts and management of exotic species.