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Strauss ED, DeCasien AR, Galindo G, Hobson EA, Shizuka D, Curley JP. 2022 DomArchive: a century of published dominance data. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 377: 20200436.


© 2022 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.


Dominance behaviours have been collected for many groups of animals since 1922 and serve as a foundation for research on social behaviour and social structure. Despite a wealth of data from the last century of research on dominance hierarchies, these data are only rarely used for comparative insight. Here, we aim to facilitate comparative studies of the structure and function of dominance hierarchies by compiling published dominance interaction datasets from the last 100 years of work. This compiled archive includes 436 datasets from 190 studies of 367 unique groups (mean group size 13.8, s.d. = 13.4) of 135 different species, totalling over 243 000 interactions. These data are presented in an R package alongside relevant metadata and a tool for subsetting the archive based on biological or methodological criteria. In this paper, we explain how to use the archive, discuss potential limitations of the data, and reflect on best practices in publishing dominance data based on our experience in assembling this dataset. This archive will serve as an important resource for future comparative studies and will promote the development of general unifying theories of dominance in behavioural ecology that can be grounded in testing with empirical data. This article is part of the theme issue ‘The centennial of the pecking order: current state and future prospects for the study of dominance hierarchies’.

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