Using JournalMap to improve discovery and visualization of rangeland scientific knowledge

TitleUsing JournalMap to improve discovery and visualization of rangeland scientific knowledge
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsGillan JK, Karl JW, Galera A
Conference Name68th Annual Society for Range Management Meeting
Date Published02/2015
PublisherSociiety for Range Management
Conference LocationSacramento, CA
ARIS Log Number321944

Most of the ecological research conducted around the world is tied to specific places; however, that location information is locked up in the text and figures of scientific articles in myriad forms that are not easily searchable. While access to ecological literature has improved dramatically in the digital age, the ability to find out what is known about a specific place is hindered by current search technologies that still rely primarily on key word, topic, text, and author searching. Tools for discovering and evaluating ecological studies have largely focused on the what of research while downplaying the where. This is somewhat surprising given the strong spatial focus of ecology and the growing number of powerful map-based search and analysis tools that are readily available. To address these needs we created JournalMap (http://, a map-based scientific literature database and search engine. With JournalMap we use study area descriptions from the article to map where the research was actually conducted. We demonstrate the value of mapbased knowledge discovery with three examples: a time-series visualization of sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) knowledge from over 300 articles, an assessment of the omission and commission errors associated with topical searching for articles within the Chihuahuan Desert, and mapping patterns and biases of rangeland research knowledge from over 1,500 articles fromRangeland Ecology and Management and the Journal of Arid Environments. These three examples illustrate how map-based search engines can improve knowledge discovery and reveal gaps in ecological knowledge. JournalMap’s goal is to encourage the science community to improve location reporting in peer-reviewed literature and increase the discoverability of relevant scientific knowledge through web mapping interfaces.