Thursday, July 05, 2012

Impact(!) of Mathematical Equations in Biology Papers


... The density of equations in an article has a significant negative impact on citation rates, with papers receiving 28% fewer citations overall for each additional equation per page in the main text. [...]

That's from the abstract of a recent PNAS paper: Heavy use of equations impedes communication among biologists by Tim W. Fawcett1 and Andrew D. Higginson of the University of Bristol.

1 Comments:

  1. ajitjadhav said...

    Depressing.

    ... By way of some help to our biologist friends (and sometimes also to our engineer, physicist, and even mathematician friends(!)), I would single out one book over all the others that I have seen:

    E. Batschelet, "Introduction to Mathematics for Life Scientists"

    Preview it here: http://books.google.co.in/books/about/Introduction_to_Mathematics_for_Life_Sci.html?id=ZOKIRTFkGTsC

    The side-links from the Google Books Preview page going to the Indian book sellers do not include this bit, but at least until recent times, in India, there used to be a very inexpensive Narosa edition (of 2/e) available at Rs. 195; its ISBN: 3-540-78012-2.

    On Amazon, I remember having seen this book receive just a single customer review, an admiring one with a 5-stars rating. Today I checked the page out once again, and found that two more customer reviews have appeared, both with 5-stars ratings. (The edition to check out these reviews is this: http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Mathematics-Scientists-Springer-Study/dp/354006544X/)

    For those who are a bit more ambitious about mathematics, the books on history of mathematics by Prof. Maurice Kline should continue to be a particularly enlightening source, in the process very effectively dispelling from their minds any fear of calculus and of the more advanced mathematics.

    Hope this helps.

    Ajit
    [E&OE]