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TERN facilitated publications catalogued

TERN facilitated publications catalogued

Friday, 24 February 2017

Since its inception, TERN's infrastructure has been used in a wide range of research, resulting in the publication of more than 950 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles or books. Here, we explore some of the themes and patterns in this collection of research output.

TERN, the national observatory for Australian ecosystems, is delivering data streams and infrastructure that are increasingly being used by environmental researchers and managers in Australia and internationally. In the research sphere, this growing use of TERN is reflected in the rapidly growing catalogue of publications citing and acknowledging the use of TERN infrastructure and data.

To make it easier for people to access this wealth of research output catalysed by TERN, the network makes available a publications catalogue that lists all the publications in one place.

The 79-page document cites 1408 publications, including more than 950 refereed scientific publications in high-impact, prestigious journals, and highlights the productivity of those using TERN and the importance of their research.

Of TERN’s four key capabilities publications on the theme of ‘land’ (sustainable management and use of Australia’s ecosystems) and ‘data’ (data storage, publishing, management and discoverability infrastructure) are the most common.

The spread of publications across TERN’s four key capabilities

Of the peer-reviewed publications, the journals Austral Ecology (the premier journal for ecology in the Southern Hemisphere) and PLoS ONE (an international multidisciplinary Open Access journal) are the most cited.  The top 20 publishing authors are broadly spread across Australia’s top universities and the CSIRO, reflecting the nation-wide scope of TERN’s infrastructure, investment and activities.  As well as a number of TERN affiliated authors in the top 20—whose leadership and application of TERN data and infrastructure sets an important example for others of what’s possible thanks to TERN—we’re pleased to see the use of TERN by researchers with no direct links to the network.

One such author is Dr Sam Banks of the Australian National University.  “I have been using TERN’s research infrastructure for some time now, in particular TERN’s long-term research sites in the Victorian Central Highlands,” says Sam. “Having the long-term data collection of TERN gives vital big-picture context for the research I do on population biology and genetics of forest species.”

In addition to facilitating research in Australia we’re also proud to report that our well-established international partnerships, globally renowned infrastructure and data streams are facilitating joint research around the world.  Even a small sample of 2016 publications highlights the broad spread of counties whose ecosystem scientists are using TERN to further their research.

Possibly reflecting research funding, the number of TERN-facilitated publications declined in 2016 going against the TERN publications trend for the first time since 2009. This is important information for TERN and we are working to understand the decline and use it to better tailor our services and products to continually match the needs of our stakeholders. However, there are some indications that the decline in 2016 is reflective of a broadly observed trend in declining publications, especially in the second most cited journal PLoS ONE.

The latest edition of the catalogue contains publications by year from 2009 to 2017 and is available for download on the TERN webpage.

The catalogue gives a useful insight into how TERN infrastructure is being used to underpin ecosystem research, and we are looking at how we can use this record to better understand the needs of our user community, and to improve our infrastructure and data delivery to stakeholders.