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. Anonymous said...


    ... 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:

    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:

    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.