Mapping the dynamics of research networks in ecology and evolution using co-citation analysis (1975–2014)

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In this paper we used a co-citation network analysis to quantify and illustrate the dynamic patterns of research in ecology and evolution over 40 years (1975–2014). We addressed questions about the historical patterns of development of these two fields. Have ecology and evolution always formed a coherent body of literature? What dominant ideas have motivated research activity in these two fields? How long have these ideas attracted the attention of researchers? Contrary to what was expected, we did not observe any trend towards a stronger integration of ecology and evolution into one big cluster that would suggest the existence of a single community. Three main bodies of literature have stayed relatively stable over time: population/community ecology, evolutionary ecology, and population/quantitative genetics. Other fields have disappeared, emerged or mutated over time. Besides, research organization has shifted from a taxon-oriented structure to a concept-oriented one over the years, with researchers working on the same topics but on different taxa showing more interactions.

This content has been updated on 28 January 2020 at 10 h 06 min.