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Session 6 - An Integrated Web Resource.
Display session, Monday, January 13
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 Aamp;A, Aamp;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:
\bigskip \hskip 41pt Aamp;A \hskip 15pt Aamp;AS \hskip 20pt AJ \hskip 25pt ApJ \hskip 20pt ApJS \hskip 10pt MNRAS \hskip 10pt PASP
1975 \hskip 18pt 39% \hskip 23pt 39% \hskip 23pt 49% \hskip 23pt 35% \hskip 23pt 67% \hskip 23pt 48% \hskip 23pt 54%
1985 \hskip 18pt 25% \hskip 23pt 31% \hskip 23pt 25% \hskip 23pt 21% \hskip 23pt 36% \hskip 23pt 28% \hskip 23pt 35%
1995 \hskip 18pt 14% \hskip 23pt 19% \hskip 23pt 14% \hskip 23pt 13% \hskip 23pt 19% \hskip 23pt 14% \hskip 23pt 28%
\bigskip 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.
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