New Zealand Journal of Ecology (2021) 45(1): 3438

Networks and themes in the publications of the New Zealand Ecological Society over the last six decades

Research Article
George L. W. Perry 1*
Matt S. McGlone 2
  1. School of Environment, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand
  2. Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research, Box 69040, Lincoln 7640, New Zealand
*  Corresponding author

The Proceedings of the Ecological Society of New Zealand (PESNZ) and its continuation, the New Zealand Journal of Ecology (NZJE), published more than 1250 articles over the 58 years from 1961–2019. Over this period, the emphasis of ecology as a science and the social context in which it is embedded have changed. Here we provide a bibliometric analysis of the history of the PESNZ and the NZJE to assess how the dominant research themes have changed through time, and the extent to which they reflect broader trends in the policy and funding landscapes. The journals’ consistent focus has been on applied ecological issues, especially the effects and control of invasive mammals. However, the most discussed taxa have shifted over time (from deer to brushtail possums to rodents and mustelids). Collaboration has altered dramatically, with few author networks and single-author articles in early issues versus multi-author articles and widespread networks today. Thus, the research published by the Society reflects NZ-specific concerns and broader trends in knowledge production (e.g. the shift to team-based science). We conclude by considering the publications of the NZ Ecological Society through the lens of journals being ‘clubs’ for the social production of shared knowledge.