the hyperprolific authors Thousands of scientists publish a paper every five days

 | Post date: 2019/05/18 | 

We searched Scopus for authors who had published more than 72 papers (the equivalent of one paper every 5 days) in any one calendar year between 2000 and 2016, a figure that many would consider implausibly prolific1. We found more than 9,000 individuals, and made every effort to count only ‘full papers’ — articles, conference papers, substantive comments and reviews — not editorials, letters to the editor and the like. We hoped that this could be a useful exercise in understanding what scientific authorship means.

We must be clear: we have no evidence that these authors are doing anything inappropriate. Some scientists who are members of large consortia could meet the criteria for authorship on a very high volume of papers. Our findings suggest that some fields or research teams have operationalized their own definitions of what authorship means.

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