Peer review review
December 30, 2011 8:58 PM   Subscribe

Can you help me figure out number of papers per year for a few top journals?

Pretty straightforward, there's got to be an easy answer to this but after an hour of googling I haven't found it. I want to know how many articles were published each year, going as far back as possible, for Science, Nature, and PNAS. I figure that the number of papers per issue has changed over time, and that these journals haven't necessarily had one issue per week as they do now. Any reasonable estimate will do.

posted by Buckt to Science & Nature (6 answers total)
Find Web of Knowledge on your university library web site and look for the link to JCR (journal citation reports).
posted by zepheria at 9:15 PM on December 30, 2011

Use the Select a Database tab and choose Journal Citation reports. Choose JCR Science Edition 2010 (or previous years), then pick Search by specific journal title and put in exact title (e.g. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA -use their list and copy and paste) or change the drop-down to abbreviation and use that. The JCR data section will show the number of articles published that year.
posted by zepheria at 9:25 PM on December 30, 2011

Such that we're clear, you mean papers documenting original results? not including reviews, news and views, commentary and etc? Because the JCR will work, but if you wish to exclude secondary publications, you'll have to filter again. If you've got ISI, that's great, if not, then you might have to use each journal's individual site, and search or delimit by tags for just primary research.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 10:01 PM on December 30, 2011

Original results, yes. I want to compare the relative prominence of various fields, ie see what proportion of top journals they have occupied over time.
posted by Buckt at 5:58 AM on December 31, 2011

Well, I wouldn't call it an easy answer, but if you do an advanced search at, you can get all the original research articles published in 2001, say. Technically, you can also do that in the Nature archive, however their search function kept crapping out on me. PNAS archives and search are not so helpful. ISI makes it a bit better, but do you have access to that database?
You can get advanced filters for research and journal in pubmed, but I haven't gotten this to work perfectly.
That leaves you, still to annotate
If you do go ahead and categorize all articles from say, the last 20 years, I'd be very interested to know how the different disciplines stacked up over time.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 2:49 PM on December 31, 2011

Cool, thanks friend! I'll see what I can. It would be super interesting to look at it across all subjects, but I'm just doing it for my field to see how things are moving. I'll give you an update, though.
posted by Buckt at 7:32 AM on January 2, 2012

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