The use of the term ‘limnology’ and its scientometrics consequences for limnologists

Submitted: 10 June 2021
Accepted: 27 July 2021
Published: 30 July 2021
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Jargon is the specialised vocabulary of any science: it allows the creation of new terms to define concepts and it removes ambiguity from scientific communication. Yet, it may also hinder understanding for a broader audience. Given that the Journal of Limnology has jargon in its title, we here investigate the impact of the term ‘limnology’ on the way limnologists work, publish their research, and attract the interest of other scientists. We do so by comparing scientometric features of papers published from 1965 to 2020 that used the term ‘limnology’ against papers on similar topics but that used the term ‘lake ecology’ or ‘hydrobiology’, and to the marine counterpart of papers that used the term ‘oceanography’. We found that papers using the term limnology score worse than those of the other topics in terms of both publication output and scientific impact. Limnologists may need to use other terms in addition to ‘limnology’ to reach a broader scientific audience.



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Stefano Mammola, National Research Council, Water Research Institute, Verbania Pallanza

Finnish Museum of Natural History (LUOMUS), University of Helsinki, Finland

How to Cite

Fontaneto, Diego, Alejandro Martínez, Stefano Mammola, and Aldo Marchetto. 2021. “The Use of the Term ‘limnology’ and Its Scientometrics Consequences for Limnologists”. Journal of Limnology 80 (3).

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