Ecology: the scientific literature that is dominated by men and a handful of countries

Publication in peer-reviewed journals is crucial for the development of the researcher’s profession. Scientists who publish most often in the most reputable journals are gaining more prominence, with higher responsibilities. However, a team that includes two National Center for Scientific Research * just showed that the vast majority of scientific articles in the fields of ecology and conservation biology are written by men working in a few Western countries. They represent 90% of the 1,051 writers who have published the most in 13 major scientific journals in the field since 1945. Three-quarters of these men belong to institutions in only five countries (the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United States). Kingdom and Germany). However, there are signs of improvement, as women are increasingly among the most published authors, accounting for 18% of younger authors, while only 3% of older authors. The geographical diversity of the countries in which the authors work has increased significantly, by 15% since 1980. Published in Preservation messages On March 2, 2021, this study calls for combating the discrimination process that the publishing system generates by proposing concrete measures to stop the overrepresentation of men and Western countries.


* – Laurent Godet from the Laboratory of the Coast, Ecology, Geomatics and Remote Detection (CNRS / EPHE / Université de Bretagne occidentale / Université de Caen Normandie / Université d’Angers / Université de Nantes) and Vincent Devictor from the Institute for Evolution Sciences in Montpellier. (CNRS / IRD / EPHE / University of Montpellier).

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