Reading the work of other scientists is one of the most important ways of constructing our own ideas and developing a personal scientific view. Outstanding papers inspire us and give us role models - though a danger is that we will try to copy them rather than to take their work further.
The 28 attendees to the first ANDinA workshop in June 2012 were asked which publications have had the most influence on their thinking, in each of four categories (General, Invasion Ecology, Plants+Climate and Herbicide Resistance), and to give the reasons supporting their choices. The group included scientists towards both the end and the beginning of their careers and was definitely biased towards those with interests in ecology. Just over half were from the US. The list comprised 93 publications. John L. Harper was the most influential author in the General category. For Herbicide Resistance, the most cited influential paper was by Jasieniuk et al (1996 Weed Sci. 44, 176-193) although five papers including S. B. Powles as an author were listed. Only one publication was selected twice for Climate (Hellman et al. 2008. Conserv. Biol. 22, 534-543), whereas the Invasions category included 18 publications without any repeated choice. Articles in Climate and Invasion categories were published in journals with much higher impact factors than those concerning herbicide resistance.