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Expansion of information in scientific research papers

Malika Abdullaeva, John J. Bromfield Orcid Logo, Martin Sheldon Orcid Logo

BioRxiv

Swansea University Author: Martin Sheldon Orcid Logo

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DOI (Published version): 10.1101/2022.05.06.490896

Abstract

Presenting information in papers allows readers to see the evidence for the research claims. The amount of information presented to readers is increasing in high impact factor scientific journals. The aim of the present study was to determine whether there was a similar expansion in the amount of in...

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Published in: BioRxiv
Published: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory 2022
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa59996
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spelling 2022-05-19T12:31:17.2388091 v2 59996 2022-05-10 Expansion of information in scientific research papers ab0f74b794e59cc270c69e63ee1d9748 0000-0001-7902-5558 Martin Sheldon Martin Sheldon true false 2022-05-10 BMS Presenting information in papers allows readers to see the evidence for the research claims. The amount of information presented to readers is increasing in high impact factor scientific journals. The aim of the present study was to determine whether there was a similar expansion in the amount of information presented to readers in subject-specific journals. We examined 878 research papers that were published in the journals Biology of Reproduction and Reproduction during the first six months of 1989, 1999, 2009, and 2019. Although there were few differences between the journals, we found that between 1989 and 2019 the number of figures increased 1.5-fold, the number of figure panels increased 3.6-fold, and the number of display items increased 5.6-fold. Amongst the display items, the number of images per paper increased 10-fold, and the number of graphs per paper increased 3.7-fold. The median paper in 1989 was 8 pages long, contained 6 tables and/or figures, with 1 image and 4 graphs. In 2019 the median paper was 12 pages long, contained 7 tables and/or figures, with 13 images and 15 graphs. This expansion of information in subject-specific journals implies that authors, reviewers, and editors need to help readers digest complex biological messages without causing information overload. Journal Article BioRxiv Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory 6 5 2022 2022-05-06 10.1101/2022.05.06.490896 Preprint article before certification by peer review. COLLEGE NANME Biomedical Sciences COLLEGE CODE BMS Swansea University Not Required This research did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sector. 2022-05-19T12:31:17.2388091 2022-05-10T15:12:52.3034775 Swansea University Medical School Medicine Malika Abdullaeva 1 John J. Bromfield 0000-0001-5438-2137 2 Martin Sheldon 0000-0001-7902-5558 3 59996__24051__94d5fa247e164c798e0ac850dff4a6a0.pdf 2022.05.06.490896v1.full.pdf 2022-05-10T15:17:03.7477919 Output 592492 application/pdf Author's Original true Released under the terms of a CC-BY 4.0 International license true eng https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
title Expansion of information in scientific research papers
spellingShingle Expansion of information in scientific research papers
Martin Sheldon
title_short Expansion of information in scientific research papers
title_full Expansion of information in scientific research papers
title_fullStr Expansion of information in scientific research papers
title_full_unstemmed Expansion of information in scientific research papers
title_sort Expansion of information in scientific research papers
author_id_str_mv ab0f74b794e59cc270c69e63ee1d9748
author_id_fullname_str_mv ab0f74b794e59cc270c69e63ee1d9748_***_Martin Sheldon
author Martin Sheldon
author2 Malika Abdullaeva
John J. Bromfield
Martin Sheldon
format Journal article
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publishDate 2022
institution Swansea University
doi_str_mv 10.1101/2022.05.06.490896
publisher Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
college_str Swansea University Medical School
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hierarchy_top_title Swansea University Medical School
hierarchy_parent_id swanseauniversitymedicalschool
hierarchy_parent_title Swansea University Medical School
department_str Medicine{{{_:::_}}}Swansea University Medical School{{{_:::_}}}Medicine
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description Presenting information in papers allows readers to see the evidence for the research claims. The amount of information presented to readers is increasing in high impact factor scientific journals. The aim of the present study was to determine whether there was a similar expansion in the amount of information presented to readers in subject-specific journals. We examined 878 research papers that were published in the journals Biology of Reproduction and Reproduction during the first six months of 1989, 1999, 2009, and 2019. Although there were few differences between the journals, we found that between 1989 and 2019 the number of figures increased 1.5-fold, the number of figure panels increased 3.6-fold, and the number of display items increased 5.6-fold. Amongst the display items, the number of images per paper increased 10-fold, and the number of graphs per paper increased 3.7-fold. The median paper in 1989 was 8 pages long, contained 6 tables and/or figures, with 1 image and 4 graphs. In 2019 the median paper was 12 pages long, contained 7 tables and/or figures, with 13 images and 15 graphs. This expansion of information in subject-specific journals implies that authors, reviewers, and editors need to help readers digest complex biological messages without causing information overload.
published_date 2022-05-06T04:17:32Z
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