Passeriform birds introduction – Author Interview
Yesterday we published ‘A comparison of success rates of introduced passeriform birds in New Zealand, Australia and the United States’ in which Michael Moulton and Wendell Cropper compiled lists of successful and unsuccessful passeriform introductions to nine sites in these 3 countries.
Michael Moulton is Associate Professor in the Department of Wildlife Ecology & Conservation at the University of Florida, and we felt it would be informative to ask him a few questions on his work and his experience publishing with us.
PJ: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
MM: My colleagues and I are interested in introduced species, chiefly birds. The questions we are addressing involve determining why some species succeed and others fail when introduced to new places.
PJ: Can you briefly explain the research you published in PeerJ?
MM: Our paper involves a comparison of introduction success rates among passerine birds across sites in Australia, New Zealand and the United States. We are interested in the importance of site-level factors as the primary determinant of introduction fate.
PJ: What surprised you the most with these results?
MM: Perhaps our greatest surprise was how much lower the success rate for passerine introductions was in the United States even when we limited our analysis to a comparable time (late nineteenth century) and in reasonably homogeneous sets of species.
PJ: What kinds of lessons do you hope the public takes away from the research?
MM: Several studies have argued that the most important factor in determining introduction outcomes is propagule pressure, meaning the number of individuals released per species. There has clearly been a rush to assume that this is a well-established fact. Unfortunately, the propagule pressure hypothesis is based on an incomplete historical record.
PJ: How was your overall experience with us?
MM: PeerJ appealed to me by the speed of publication, and the open access. I was also impressed with how many well-known scientists are serving as Academic Editors. Lastly the production of the final papers is truly top notch. I really feel that this is the publishing model of the future, and I am pleased to be a part of it.
PJ: How did you first hear about PeerJ, and what persuaded you to submit to us?
MM: A colleague mentioned it to me, and I checked it out and submitted the paper immediately.
PJ: Do you have any anecdotes about your overall experience with us? Anything surprising?
MM: I have been very impressed with the care and attention to detail from the production team. The production people are incredibly fast and sharp-eyed to notice little things that might otherwise go undetected (extra commas, footnote labels, and all that sort of thing). For example, we used several papers by an author (Pfluger) published in the 1890s in the Oregon Naturalist. Most of his papers had in the title the term “German song birds”. However, one of his installments was slightly different and Jackie Thai quickly zeroed in on that. It turned out that Pfluger had actually used a slightly different title for that particular installment, but Jackie’s sharp eye and attention to detail was quite impressive.
PJ: How would you describe your experience of our submission / review process?
MM: I would say that it was very fast and that communication with the Academic Editor and the production team has been exceptional. Nobody likes it when journals take months to process their submissions.
PJ: Did you get any comments from your colleagues about your publication with PeerJ?
MM: Yes. And I can safely say that PeerJ‘s reputation as a great place for fast turn around and top-flight production is growing rapidly.
PJ: Would you submit again, and would you recommend that your colleagues submit?
MM: I will definitely submit again to PeerJ.
PJ: In conclusion, how would you describe PeerJ in three words?
Fast, accurate and attractive.
PJ: Many thanks for your time!