Wednesday, October 08, 2008

B - A longer paper gathers more citations

Ball P. A longer paper gathers more citations. Nature 2008;455:274-275
Doi: doi:10.1038/455274a

In an analysis of 30,027 peer-reviewed papers published between 2000 and 2004 in top astronomy journals, astronomer Krzysztof Stanek of Ohio State University in Columbus found that the median number of citations increases with the length of the paper, with the only limit that citations start to tail off when papers reach lengths of 80 pages or so. The study highlights some important questions. One is whether, in the face of new dissemination channels, it is realistic to regard citations as an accurate measure of achievement, the other is how long a paper ought to be, if length really does matter.

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