A Glimpse at the Progress of Zoological Research from Mainland China in the Recent Decade

Deyan Ge, member of Journal of Zoology editorial board

Key Laboratory of Zoological Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beichen West Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China. Email: gedy@ioz.ac.cn

JZO_China_VI_Cover-1536938118557It is truly my great honor to give a brief summary on the progress of zoological research from mainland China. In the past ten years (2008-2017), we published 43 papers by Chinese researchers in Journal of Zoology, the top classic journal in Zoology. The proportion of articles from mainland China increased from 2.0% of 1998-2007 to 3.8% of 2008-2017. These research articles covered a wide range of behavior, paleogeography, conservation and functional morphology of different taxa in the kingdom Animalia. However, the scope of the research in Zoology in mainland China clearly is not confined to these aspects. Clear trends of recent research are trying to integrate extant species with fossil occurrences as well as geographical information system, to update two-dimensional data to three-dimensional reconstruction, and to sequence genomes instead of a limited number of DNA markers. All this research is benefiting from the rapid development of science and technology in our world.

Here, I established a database that includes information from 53 journals, which were ranked as the top 30% in the category “Zoology” in the ISI Web of Knowledge in 2017 by the values of their impact factors. I compared the proportion of articles from mainland China in these journals in two separate periods, 1998-2007 and 2008-2017, and this showed clear increases in most journals in the recent decade (Figure 1). Particularly, the number of publications from mainland China dramatically increased in Annual Review of Animal Biosciences (1), Zoologica Scripta (10), Developmental and Comparative Immunology (11), Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society (16), Journal of Invertebrate Pathology (18), Journal of Experimental Zoology part B-Molecular and Developmental Evolution (20), Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology C-Toxicology & Pharmacology (26), Journal of Thermal Biology (30) and Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology B-Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (44). On the contrary, the proportions of articles from mainland China were dramatically declining in Current Zoology and Integrative Zoology. Both of these journals are sponsored by the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

These data indicated that Chinese researchers are making great efforts to overcome the difficulties of language and publish their research in international journals using English. On the other hand, researchers are also taking advantage of extensive international cooperation in recent years. Moreover, this figure also reflected the weakness of several subjects in mainland China, for example, there were no publications in Wildlife monographs and only one paper in Herpetological Monographs, both of which require long-term monitoring and research. From my point of view, China still has a long way to go in the field of Zoology.


Journal of Zoology virtual issue: China and Zoology – a selection of research articles from mainland China


Figure 1
Figure 1. Proportion of articles published by researchers from mainland China in the top 53 journals in Zoology between 1998-2017. The journals were ranked by their impact factors in 2017, which were provided by the ISI Web of knowledge (http://login.webofknowledge.com/). 1. Annual Review of Animal Biosciences, 2. Wildlife Monographs, 3. Journal of Animal Ecology, 4. Mammal Review, 5. Frontiers in Zoology, 6. Journalof Comparative Neurology, 7. Behavioral Ecology, 8. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research,9. Animal Behaviour, 10. Zoologica Scripta, 11. Developmental and Comparative Immunology, 12. Zoological Letters, 13. Animal Cognition, 14. Journal of Mammalian Evolution, 15. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 16. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 17. Journal of Comparative Physiology B-Biochemical Systemicand Environmental Physiology, 18. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, 19. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 20. Journal of Experimental Zoologypart B-Molecularand Developmental Evolution, 21. Comparative Biochemistryand Physiology C-Toxicology& Pharmacology, 22. Current Zoology, 23. Organisms Diversity & Evolution, 24. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, 25. American Journal of Primatology, 26. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiologya-Molecular & Integrative Physiology, 27. Bioacoustics-The International Journal of Animal Soundand its Recording, 28. Journal of Mammalogy, 29. Reproduction Fertilityand Development, 30. Journal of Thermal Biology, 31. Wildlife Biology, 32. Journal of Wildlife Management, 33. Herpetological Monographs, 34. Journal of Comparative Physiology A-Neuroethology Sensory Neural and Behavioral Physiology, 35. Journal of Zoology, 36. Zoology, 37. Marine Mammal Science, 38. Hystrix-Italian Journal of Mammalogy, 39. Journal of Experimental Psychology-Animal Learning and Cognition, 40. Integrative Zoology, 41. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 42. Zebrafish, 43. Ethology, 44. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology B-Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, 45. Malacologia, 46. Invertebrate Systematics, 47. Brain Behavior and Evolution, 48. Contributions to Zoology, 49. Acta Ethologica, 50. Animal Welfare, 51. Behavioural Processes, 52. Behaviour, 53. Journal of Molluscan Studies.

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