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Screenshot of website Reflections on Papers Past page Visual Archive
Launch of Hari Sridhar´s new website Reflections on Papers Past, an oral history project on famous papers in Ecology, Evolution, Behaviour and Conservation

What do authors of 'citation classics' feel about their papers? How did they come to write those famous papers and how did those papers affect their lives and careers? Are those findings still valid decades after their publication?

The Reflections on Papers Past oral history project was started in 2016 by Hari Sridhar, to archive the back-stories of famous papers in Ecology, Evolution, Behaviour and Conservation, as well as the authors’ reflections on their impact, validity and relevance today. Famous here implies papers that have either been highly-cited or become text-book examples or have been recognised in some fashion, e.g. through an award. As of 1 February 2024, 154 interviews have been conducted, each anchored around a single scientific paper. This new website, co-created by Hari Sridhar and Joyshree Chanam, in addition to providing the full interviews, uses material from the interviews in the form of three exhibits:

Thematic collections of quotes that showcase the human stories behind scientific papers

An archive of photos and other visuals connected to the back-stores of papers

Papers annotated with author reflections