The sociology of astronomical publication has traditionally been studied by looking for publication trends using every paper published in a few selected journals within a few selected years. For example, Abt (1981, PASP, 93, 269) examined the papers published in ApJ, ApJS, AJ, and PASP during the first year of each decade from 1910 to 1980. By analyzing the NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) database of astronomical abstracts we can study a large number of issues in the sociology of astronomical publication while including every paper published in a number of refereed astronomy journals during the past twenty years. Although there are articles from more than a thousand journals in the ADS database, seven journals together account for the majority of refereed astronomy and astrophysics papers published in the last two decades. We will be presenting results of a study of astronomical publication trends using papers published in A&A, A&AS, AJ, ApJ, ApJS, MNRAS, and PASP between 1975 and 1995. One of the most interesting trends is the rapid decrease in the fraction of papers with only one author: A&A A&AS AJ ApJ ApJS MNRAS PASP 1975 39% 39% 49% 35% 67% 48% 54% 1985 25% 31% 25% 21% 36% 28% 35% 1995 14% 19% 14% 13% 19% 14% 28% We will also be presenting information about trends in the number of papers published, the length of papers, and the number of authors per paper, with particular emphasis on the recent phenomenon of astronomical papers with fifty or more authors.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 1996