[Taxacom] Impact of natural history collections

Roderic Page r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
Thu May 16 11:58:57 CDT 2013

I've written a short blog post (http://iphylo.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/the-impact-of-museum-collections-one.html ) on measuring the value of natural history collections, and briefly discuss a neat little note in Nature that I hadn't seen: 

Winker, K., & Withrow, J. J. (2013). Natural history: Small collections make a big impact. Nature, 493(7433), 480–480. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/493480b

It's behind a paywall, but the main point is "We created a Google Scholar publication profile for the University of Alaska Museum bird collection (UAM Birds). The publications that it has supported are diverse and well cited, with an h-index equivalent to an average Nobel laureate in physics (following Hirsch’s analysis in creating this index; PNAS 102:16569-16572). This level of impact should encourage more institutions to rediscover and reinvest in collections as important scientific infrastructure and societal resources." (see http://www.kevinwinker.org/Creation%20of%20UAM%20Birds%20Google%20Scholar%20profile.pdf for details on how this figure was computed).

So, one collection = one Nobel Prize winner in Physics. 



Roderic Page
Professor of Taxonomy
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences
Graham Kerr Building
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK

Email: r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
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