How long should an astronomical paper be to increase its Impact - AstrophysicsReport as inadecuate

How long should an astronomical paper be to increase its Impact - Astrophysics - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

Abstract: Naively, one would expect longer papers to have larger impact i.e., to becited more. I tested this expectation by selecting all ~30,000 refereedpapers from AandA, AJ, ApJ and MNRAS published between 2000 and 2004. Theseparticular years were chosen so papers analyzed would not be too -fresh-, butat the same time length of each article could be obtained via ADS. I find thatindeed longer papers published in these four major astronomy journals are onaverage cited more, with a median number of citations increasing from 6 forarticles 2-3 pages long to about 50 for articles ~50 pages long. I do howeverobserve a significant -Letters effect-, i.e. ApJ and AandA articles 4 pages longare cited more than articles 5-10 pages long. Also, the very few longest >80pages papers are actually cited less than somewhat shorter papers. Forindividual journals, median citations per paper increase from 11 for ~9,300 AandApapers to 14 for ~5,300 MNRAS papers, 16 for ~2,550 AJ papers, and 20 for~12,850 ApJ papers including ApJ Letters and Supplement. I conclude with somesemi-humorous career advice, directed especially at first-year graduatestudents.

Author: Krzysztof Zbigniew Stanek


Related documents