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A 50 Year Accomplishment in Marine Science: A History of the Journal Published by the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

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The Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) has a 50 year history of annual publication of the peer-reviewed journal Gulf and Caribbean Research (GCR, 2000-present; formerly Gulf Research Reports (GRR) from 1961—1999). Other extant journals serving the region during this time include Contributions in Marine Science (since 1945), Proceedings of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (since 1948), Bulletin of Marine Science (since 1951), Revista de Biología Tropical (since 1953), and Caribbean Journal of Science (since 1961). In the early years of the GCR publication, papers were primarily concerned with research in Mississippi and the northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM), and the majority of authors were from USM/GCRL or the GOM region. However, in the past 15 years, studies from Mexico and the Caribbean have dramatically increased, with a concurrent increase in the geographical diversity of authors. Overall, surveys and inventories, taxonomy, and life history studies have been most common, and taxa have been dominated by fish and crustaceans. Offshore, benthic and marsh habitats have been the most commonly studied during GCR’s 50 year history. In general, publications during the last 15 years are more similar to each other (≥ 65% similarity based on CLUSTER analysis and MDS ordinations) than to earlier publications for geography, taxon, habitat and subject areas. The journal is well cited in peer-reviewed literature, with 72% of the papers published in GRR and 65% of those published in GCR cited at least once. GCR provides an important outlet for peer-reviewed publications from the GOM and Caribbean region.

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