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Trends in Astronomical Publication Between 1975 and 1996

Eric Schulman, James C. French, Allison L. Powell, Guenther Eichhorn, Michael J. Kurtz and Stephen S. Murray
Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Vol. 109, No. 741 (1997 November), pp. 1278-1284
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40681034
Page Count: 7
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Trends in Astronomical Publication Between 1975 and 1996
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Abstract

Trends in astronomical publication have traditionally been studied by examining the few thousand papers published in a few selected journals within a few selected years. With the development of comprehensive bibliographic databases such as ADS and SIMBAD, publication trends can now be studied using tens of thousands of papers published in a number of refereed astronomy journals. The ADS has extensive bibliographic information on almost every paper published in seven major astronomy journals over the past two decades; the SIMBAD database can be used to verify critical bibliographic information such as the number of authors and the length of the papers. Here we present results of a study of astronomical publication trends using 76,000 papers published in A& A, A& AS, AJ, ApJ, ApJS, MNRAS, and PASP between 1975 and 1996. Two trends are particularly interesting: the fraction of single-author papers has decreased by about a factor of three in the last 20 years, while astronomical papers with niore than 50 authors have become increasingly common since 1990.

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