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COMMUNICATION IN THE LIFE SCIENCES 419 TABLE 67 Reference Citations in Selected U.S. Publications to Foreign Journals in 1966 in Selected Fields BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY ECOLOGY AND PEDIATRICS HYDROLOGY No. To No. % No. % TOTAL52,458 100.09,459 100.05,281 100.0 Total Five Selected Countries6,455 12.31,262 13.3808 15.3 United Kingdom4,839 9.21,032 10.9468 8.9 France251 0.537 0.4156 3.0 West Germany909 1.7174 1.897 1.8 Japan372 0.713 0.149 0.9 U.S.S.R.84 0.26 0.138 0.7 Source: Data from the Biological Sciences Communication Project of the George Washington University, Wash ington, D.C. foreign scientists cited U.S. publications, whereas the two patterns in ecology were much the same (Figure 481. This figure must be interpreted with some major caveats. While truly reflecting the increasingly self-sus- taining nature of American science, it also resects (a) the painful fact of American incompetence in languages other than English and (b ~ an increasing tendency among scientists outside the United States to send some of their most significant papers to leading American journals for publica- tion. The latter practice certainly accounts in part for the inordinately low level of citation of French, German, and Japanese journals. The former, however, does not account for the low level of citation of Russian journals, since the leading Russian journals are available in English translation. In sum, this examination of a segment of the world biological literature confirms the impression gained from many other sources that American biological science leads the world in the sheer magnitude of the endeavor and produces science of the first caliber, especially when considered in proportion to its quantity and scope. REVIEW ARTXCLES AND DATA COMPILATION Because of the scale and diversity of the primary literature, there is con- tinual need for comprehensive review articles. At their best, these contain new interpretations and ideas as well as systematic examinations of current
420 THE ElFE SCIENCES U. _ ._ C) Q ._ ._ U3 .o ._ Ct - .D as . - o Ct o A o C) - a~ Cal ·_4 Cal o ._ A_ Ct 4 ~ ._ C) 4 - on m O ~ O ~ ·V ¢ o ~0 V) ¢ 4 o ~ O ¢< m 0 ~ 0 0 ._ Ct ._ U) ~ Z To o ~ ~ no so of ~ ~ ~ ~ Go ~ ~ ~ Go Do ~ Go o ~ ~ ''1 ci °t ~U) ~ U) ~ cr~ ° :i ~ ~ ~ ~ _ - .~ ~ - 0 ~ h° U? e O c' E" ._ ~ - O ~ c' Z . ~ O 0 0~' ~ ~ ~ ~ C~ . . . . . C~ ~ ~ ~t ~ ~ ~ 1 o ~l t~ t~ ~ 1 '^= ~^ 0\ U) O ~ U) _ oo r~ _ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ m-~= ~ ~ ~ C~ °O CO ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ cr O ~ O _4 00^ -^ _ 0\ ~ 00 ~ ~ 00 U) U) ~ `0 ~ V) U) ~ ~ \0 - o .= a' _ _ ~r ._ O ~ ct c~ C) ~ c,, ~ 3 o - os .= V, . . ) e ~ - oG s~ . - .s c~ cO c) ~ · - ;> - ~ e~ ·- c) ~ o - ~ c.) s . - ~ ~ o ~ - x ~ ~ o c) p~ - o ~ o ~ - - ~ o ~ · - ~ s: o . - c~ ~ c~ ) cD >~ -- ~ c~ ~ . - c: c) o ·= o . - om - Os ·' ~ o o S~ . - ~ >Q o- ~ c) ~u y_ O ~ cC
COMMUNICATION IN THE LIFE SCIENCES 421 Percentage of Citations in Selected Foreign Journals to U.S. Journals (1966) Percentage of Citations in Selected U.S. Journals to Foreign Journals (1966) United Kingdom - lowest Germany 0 o .'' m o . _ m Fra nce Japan U.S.S.R. Total Five Cou ntries United Kingdom France .o West Germany ._ ~5 Japan U.S.S.R. Total Five Cou ntries United Kingdom o All] o ._ Q ~ West Germany o o .° Am o Fra rice Japan U.S.S. R. Total Five Countries : ~. .. . I 0 10 20 30 40 FIGURE 48 Comparison of the frequency of American citation of foreign literature with the frequency of foreign citation of American literature. (Source: Biological Sciences Communication Project, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.)
422 THE LIFE SCIENCES knowledge in given subjects. Such articles can serve not only active mem- bers of the scientific community but also teachers, policy-makers, mass- media writers, and other users of biological information. The Quarterly Review of Biology, Physiological Reviews, the Annual Review Series,* and the monograph literature fill this urgent need and should, of course, be stored in an information system. Expansion of such activity has been urged as essential. Modest financial reward has been an unsuccessful inducement to scientists at the forefront of research to leave their laboratories and undertake a task that seems repetitious or an inter- ruption of their work. Provision of an abundant supply of reprints has proved more effective persuasion, presumably by satisfying a more funda- mental urge. Other effective inducements might include provision of editorial assistants who would undertake the time-consuming chore of searching the literature for relevant papers and perform other mechanical tasks such as checking and arranging long lists of references. However, it is not clear from the personal experience of our panels that expansion of the biological review literature is imperative. Our study revealed an annual output of monographs, book chapters, and reviews that, at least quantitatively, should be adequate to the task of surveillance of the primary literature and summary and correlation of cogent new develop- ments. To be sure, the quality of reviews could benefit from more critical analyses, but it seems likely that coverage in many fields is adequate to the needs of the user community. Compilations of biological data, based on careful critical evaluations of the relative accuracy and reliability of data reported by different investi- gators, are becoming another useful source of information for life scientists. Such data books have long been available to physicists and chemists. Be- cause quantitative data in biology have been relatively few, biologists have taken little part in activities of this sort in the past, but the situation is rapidly changing. The Handbook of Biochemistry, which first appeared in 1968 and which presents data on properties of a great number of biologically important molecules, has proved tremendously useful. The : Quarterly Review of Biology. Stony Brook. Foundation, Inc., Stony Brook, New York. 1 926. Physiological Reviews. American Physiological Society, 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, Maryland. 1921. Annual Review Series. Annual Reviews, Inc., Palo Alto, California. Biological fields already under periodic review by June 1970 include biochemistry, entomology, genetics, medicine, microbiology, pharmacology, physiology, phytopathology, plant physiology, and psychology. Handbook of Biochemistry: Selected Data for Molecular Biology. H. A. Sober, Chemical Rubber Co., Cleveland, Ohio, 1968.