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DOI: https://doi.org/10.25849/myrmecol.news_031:071

Open Access: CC BY 4.0

Author:

Queiroz, A.C.M., Wilker, I., Lasmar, C.J., Mousinho, E., Ribas, C.R. & van den Berg, E.



Year: 2021

Title:

No matter where you are, ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) get attention when it is warm



Journal: Myrmecological News

Volume: 31

Pages: 71-83

Type of contribution: Original Article

Supplementary material: Yes

Abstract:

Google Trends® (GT) can show us how social trends vary in time and space through real-time data. In this study, we aimed to investigate spatial and temporal patterns of variation observed in interest in the search term “ants” and their related variables across the globe. We collected GT data from 20 countries within a 13-year time frame, with 156 monthly values corresponding to search-relative interest (values related to the search interest concerning the highest peak of popularity for a certain term within a certain period). After that, we correlated the average of relative interest per country (constancy of interest) with demographic data and ant diversity and the relative interest in “ants” among countries. The inter- and intra-annual variations in the relative interest in the search term “ants” were also evaluated. After that, we listed related queries and made clusters with related topics collected from each country. We observed that: (I) the constancy of interest in the term “ants” is correlated with higher internet access and higher ant-genera diversity; (II) countries with a closer location, and in the same hemisphere, have similar trends in relative interest independently of their languages; (III) the relative interest in “ants” increased over the years and during warmer months (signaling seasonality). Besides, it is noticed that (IV) there is a high demand for information about ant control. Finally, we found that (V) historic, cultural, and linguistic similarities among countries also influence the search patterns for “ants”. These results can help researchers to gain insight into the psychology of the ordinary Google searcher and reveal the typical perception of ants. They also direct, among others, grant writing, framing research, and choosing research directions and guide eventual public outreach activities. We know myrmecologists need no convincing why ants are interesting and ecologically important, but most people only think about ants when they are annoying them and how to get rid of these animals. Thus, the early months of the warmer seasons would be the best time frame for promotional activities on the benefits of ants. Based on these findings, we suggest: 1) publishing information related to ants during warmer months, highlighting positive aspects of ants; 2) stimulating science education for children and teenagers in myrmecological holiday camps; 3) developing apps focused on providing information about ants, among other actions.

Open access, licensed under CC BY 4.0. © 2021 The Author(s).



Key words: Ant diversity, Google Trends, internet search, people’s interests, seasonality.

Publisher: The Austrian Society of Entomofaunistics

ISSN: 1997-3500

Check out the accompanying blog contribution: https://blog.myrmecologicalnews.org/2021/03/31/on-the-internet-searching-for-ants-leads-to-new-paths-to-engage-with-science/


Interested in receiving weekly updates on Myrmecol. News & Myrmecol. News Blog? Follow the link & subscribe: https://myrmecologicalnews.org/cms/index.php?option=com_jnews&act=subone&listid=1&itemid=78&Itemid=107

DOI: https://doi.org/10.25849/myrmecol.news_031:071

Open Access: CC BY 4.0

Author:

Queiroz, A.C.M., Wilker, I., Lasmar, C.J., Mousinho, E., Ribas, C.R. & van den Berg, E.



Year: 2021

Title:

No matter where you are, ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) get attention when it is warm



Journal: Myrmecological News

Volume: 31

Pages: 71-83

Type of contribution: Original Article

Supplementary material: Yes

Abstract:

Google Trends® (GT) can show us how social trends vary in time and space through real-time data. In this study, we aimed to investigate spatial and temporal patterns of variation observed in interest in the search term “ants” and their related variables across the globe. We collected GT data from 20 countries within a 13-year time frame, with 156 monthly values corresponding to search-relative interest (values related to the search interest concerning the highest peak of popularity for a certain term within a certain period). After that, we correlated the average of relative interest per country (constancy of interest) with demographic data and ant diversity and the relative interest in “ants” among countries. The inter- and intra-annual variations in the relative interest in the search term “ants” were also evaluated. After that, we listed related queries and made clusters with related topics collected from each country. We observed that: (I) the constancy of interest in the term “ants” is correlated with higher internet access and higher ant-genera diversity; (II) countries with a closer location, and in the same hemisphere, have similar trends in relative interest independently of their languages; (III) the relative interest in “ants” increased over the years and during warmer months (signaling seasonality). Besides, it is noticed that (IV) there is a high demand for information about ant control. Finally, we found that (V) historic, cultural, and linguistic similarities among countries also influence the search patterns for “ants”. These results can help researchers to gain insight into the psychology of the ordinary Google searcher and reveal the typical perception of ants. They also direct, among others, grant writing, framing research, and choosing research directions and guide eventual public outreach activities. We know myrmecologists need no convincing why ants are interesting and ecologically important, but most people only think about ants when they are annoying them and how to get rid of these animals. Thus, the early months of the warmer seasons would be the best time frame for promotional activities on the benefits of ants. Based on these findings, we suggest: 1) publishing information related to ants during warmer months, highlighting positive aspects of ants; 2) stimulating science education for children and teenagers in myrmecological holiday camps; 3) developing apps focused on providing information about ants, among other actions.

Open access, licensed under CC BY 4.0. © 2021 The Author(s).



Key words: Ant diversity, Google Trends, internet search, people’s interests, seasonality.

Publisher: The Austrian Society of Entomofaunistics

ISSN: 1997-3500

Check out the accompanying blog contribution: https://blog.myrmecologicalnews.org/2021/03/31/on-the-internet-searching-for-ants-leads-to-new-paths-to-engage-with-science/