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Relationship between conservation biology and ecology shown through machine reading of 32,000 articles
Conservation Biology, Volume: 34, Issue: 3, Pages: 721 - 732
Swansea University Author: Marina Papadopoulou
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Conservation biology was founded on the idea that efforts to save nature depend on a scientific understanding of how it works. It sought to apply ecological principles to conservation problems. We investigated whether the relationship between these fields has changed over time through machine readin...
|Published in:||Conservation Biology|
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Conservation biology was founded on the idea that efforts to save nature depend on a scientific understanding of how it works. It sought to apply ecological principles to conservation problems. We investigated whether the relationship between these fields has changed over time through machine reading the full texts of 32,000 research articles published in 16 ecology and conservation biology journals. We examined changes in research topics in both fields and how the fields have evolved from 2000 to 2014. As conservation biology matured, its focus shifted from ecology to social and political aspects of conservation. The 2 fields diverged and now occupy distinct niches in modern science. We hypothesize this pattern resulted from increasing recognition that social, economic, and political factors are critical for successful conservation and possibly from rising skepticism about the relevance of contemporary ecological theory to practical conservation.
bibliometrics, ecological applications, ecological theory, interdisciplinary, latent Dirichletallocation
College of Science
Natural Environment Research Council. Grant Number: NE/L011611/1