Date of Award

Spring 3-5-2021

Document Type

Distinction Paper

Degree Name

Zoo and Conservation Science-BS


Biology & Earth Science


Anna Young

First Committee Member

Anna Young

Second Committee Member

Jennifer Cramer

Third Committee Member

Tammy Birk


Authorship, In-Situ Conservation, Representation, Gender

Subject Categories

Anthropology | Biology | Higher Education | International and Area Studies | Social Justice


The technological growth that occurred in the 20th century has given rise to higher collaboration efforts in the scientific community. However, efforts to create a community that equally represents all people is incremental and ongoing. It is important to quantify the differences in representation of collaborators in order to detect bias and monitor progress. In this paper, I study the rate at which females are listed as first authors over time. Additionally, I analyze the effect gender, the taxa studied, first authors' country of affiliation, and the country in which the study took place on the inclusion and exclusion of local collaborators. Using five different scholarly journals, I collected data from articles that used in-situ study methods and performed a chi-square analysis to determine the change in representation between groups of collaborators by gender and nationality. I found a steady increase in female first authors over the years 2000, 2010, and 2020. I also found the rate of inclusion of local collaborators is high in all factors. However, Panama, Costa Rica, Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa are countries in which representation of local collaborators is lower than that of all other countries studied. My study suggests that there is still a need for scientists to involve and appropriately include local collaborators as co-authors. Future scientists should continue to study equal representation and dig deeper into the factors studied in this paper.

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