The 100 most-cited papers ever and how we select Citation Classics by gyvwpsjkko


									Essays of an Information Scientist, Vol:7, p.175-181, 1984
Current Contents, #23, p.3-9, June 4, 1984

                                      The 100 Most-Cited              Papers     Ever    and

INumber       23
                                        How We Select              Citation     Classics

                                                                                    June 4, 1984

    Each week for the past seven and a                  the well-known international         journals.
 half years, we have published in Current               As reported earlier, we have identified
 Contents”    (CC@) personal    commen-                 about 2,000 papers cited over 500 times
 taries by authors    of Citation Clas-                 in Science Citation Index m (SCZE’ ). Ta-
 sics ‘M .1,2 In   these   ~ommentane5,    au.          ble 1 provides a frequency distribution
  thors of high-impact work discuss the                 for articles cited between 1961 and 1980.
  roles they and their coworkers played in                 We have invited most of the first au-
  the evolution of their milestone papers               thors of the 1.000 most-cited papers to
  and books. They also offer opinions on                write commentaries.        About 40 percent
  why their work proved important.         We           of them have done so. A small percent-
  have now published more than 1,800 of                 age have explicitly refused our invita-
  these commentaries.                                   tions. However,       we don’t know how
     We are often asked how these com-                  many simply failed to receive our invita-
  mentaries    are selected,    Ideally,    we          tions. Many authors moved long before
  would like to have published a commen-               our invitations were mailed. Occasional-
  tary for every highly cited classic—cer-             ly, we used the address provided on the
 tainly those among the top thousand.                  original paper. Many authors have died
  We would also want a fairly even repre-               or are in retirement. One of my own pro-
  sentation of the classics from each major             fessors, now 90, wrote that he no longer
 discipline or research specialty. In real-             writes papers. We are systematically at-
 ity, however, a number of pragmatic                    tempting to send invitations to coau-
 considerations    prevent us from achiev-             thors, or other colleagues who might be
 ing the ideal. This is an important point             in a position to comment on the highly
 to keep in mind.                                      tired work. This essay, and new letters
     Citation C[assics have been the basis             we are sending out, are intended              to
 for at least one study of scientific pro-             facilitate location of at least one quali-
 ductivity. For example, E.O. Schulz-                  fied commentator.
 DuBois recently published an interesting                  The 100 most-cited        papers for the
 analysis of the Citation Classics pub-                period 1961-1982 are provided in Table
 lished by German scientists.s While his               2. The asterisks indicate those papers
 conclusions     about the quality of re-              that have been featured            as Citation
 search in postwar Germany           may be            Classics. If you are an author of one of
 valid, we cannot be sure that our “sam-               the “missing” papers, please consider
 pling” is random. It is quite possible that           this an open invitation to write a com-
 we might have selected more foreign sci-              mentary. If you were a colleague of any
 entists had we emphasized selection by                of the deceased authors, and if you are
 journal on a country-by-country      basis. I         willing and able to write 500 words about
 hope we have been unbiased, but in re-                the topic, please contact me. The bene-
 viewing our selections to date we cer-                fits to students, historians, and others
 tainly could not claim that each country              would be significant. These commentar-
 is adequately represented.                            ies provide insights into the process of
     The fact is that we use citation fre-             discovery that cannot be obtained by
 quency as the first criterion in selecting            simply reading the original papers.
 Citation Classics candidates. This almost                 In future essays, we will catalog the
 invariably leads to articles published in             additional       candidates     for    Citation

Table 1: Citation frequency distribution for papers               concerted effort to obtain commentates
 in SC~ , 1961-19S0. A=number           of citations.             for the most-cited paper in each special-
 B =approximate     number of items receiving that                ty journal. As a result of this policy, we
 number of citations. C=approximate       percent of              have identified hundreds of “small fie[d”
 the entire SCI file.
                                                                  papers and journals. Unless we did this,
     A                               B              c             papers from the superstar           journals
                                                                  would predominate.      While we could
   > wfs3                             20
 WX)-4999                             II
                                                                  easily have justified     selecting    many
 30w3999                              25                .         more, we have so far published only
                                                        .         30-35 classics from journals like PNAS,
 21X)W2999                            .$4
                                                        .         Science,    Journal    of  the  American
 I000-I 999                          334
  .50w99                           1500                           Chemical Society,     Lancet,  Psychologi-
  100-499                        S4, W0             ,.3           cal Reviews, etc.
   .s(-99                       1.$5,CCC             .
                                                                     Table 3 provides a partial list of the
   2S-49                        393,0C0            2:0
                                558,1XK)           2,9
                                                                  more than 500 journals that have been
    10-14                       656,(W)            3.4            represented in Citation Classics to date.
     5-9                     I ,690,0C0            8,8            Space considerations      forced us to limit
     2-4                    4, Y12,1XM            23,7            this list to those represented by three or
      1                    ll,228,fKK)            58.2            more commentaries.        Thus, it includes
                           19,2W,93.I                             many well-known,        superstar journals.
                                                                  However, this almost defeats the point
“equals <.01   percent   of tolalSC[file.   1961-1980
                                                                  of the listing, which is intended to show
                                                                  that small fields are represented by jour-
Classics.  While any paper cited over 400                         nals such as Nursing Research, Econom-
times will probably qualify, citation fre-                        ic Geology,     and Public Administration
quencies will vary from field to field. A                         Review.
paper from the Journa[ of Symbolic                                   A key factor which has tended to dis-
Logic that has been cited over 50 times is                        tort journal and field representation       is
a classic for that small field. This does                         the arbitrary decision to treat the articles
not prevent superstar papers in small                             published in journals covered in each CC
fields that have wide multidisciplinary                           edition as a “separate” population         of
impact. Commentaries          on a well-cited                     papers. By publishing one classic each
review paper in even a relatively small                           week in CC/Agriculture,     Biology & En-
discipline may tell the rest of us much                           vironmental Sciences, we in fact have an
about the early development           of that                     overrepresentation    from plant science.
field.                                                            Considering the number of papers pub-
    To facilitate selection of candidates,                        lished in biochemistry and other life sci-
we have created many files at ISI@ . One                          ences, we could easily justify four or
file provides a list of about 200,000                             more Citation Classics in CC/Life Sci-
papers that have been cited over 50                               ences (CC/LS) each week. Similarly, the
times. For many high-impact journals,                             distribution for CC/Engineering,      Tech -
that threshold is quite low. Since these                          nology & Applied       Sciences   and CC/
are frequency-ranked       lists, the number                      Physical, Chemical    & Earth Sciences
of papers in each rank for a particular                           (CC/PC&ES)    is distorted. In order to
journal can tell us something about its                           reduce this bias, we recently reduced the
size and just how unusual the citation                            number of engineering papers. This has
frequency is.                                                     irritated some readers. In addition, we
    In recent times, we have accumulated                          found that it was difficult to convince
multi-year impact data on most journals.                          engineering     scientists to write about
These data confirm that the lifetime cita-                        their classic papers. Furthermore,   in en-
tion expectancy      of articles in certain                       gineering,    as in the social sciences,
journals will exceed 100 citations.q Arti-                        books rather than journal articles are
 cles published in the Proceedings of the                         often the classic or primordial publica-
National Academy           of Sciences      (PNAS),               tions. Even a few technical reports sur-
will reach that figure after 20 years. In                         faced, as would patents if we searched
fact 2,400 papers from PNA S have al-                             for them.
ready been cited more than 100 times,                                 When I first read the Schulz-DuBois
   In order to obtain as wide a represen-                         paper,s I found it hard to believe that
tation of journals as possible, we made a                         more papers from Chemische Berichte

Table       2: The       lIXI most-cited        SCI’     articles     listed in alphabetical                 order     by first author.       An asterisk(”)                  ind,ca!cs      that the paper
    was featured           m a Citatzo.         Classtc ‘u in Current              Commtrs”   (CC’ ). The issue number, year,                                 and edition of CC in which the
    clawic     appeared           are indicated        i“ parentheses.            (1” 1977 and 1978, the same Cimtion Clamtc                                  was featured in each edilio” of
    CC. 1 Two         as(erisks       (””)    indtcate     that     the paper       did mot Bppear              o“ the         1974 list of most-cited                ?micles.

 CltmtJons                                                                                       Blbllogmphk Dnta

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      . .
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    3533        Andrews P. Estimation                     of the molecular            weiy,hls        of proteins         by sephadex             gel- fihratm”.         Bmchem.             J,
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    392 I       Amom       D L Copper              enzymes        in isolated        chloropfasts             Po[yphencdcw.idasc             in 13eIa v.lgatis.                Phvu Physml
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    2161        Lkmfeen           J, Cooper L N & %brieffer                       J R. Theory         of supmconductiwty.                   Phys       Rcb         10.3 11“5-204,            1957.
    2489       “Broker           S B & Summer#onW H. The coiorimemc detennmatm” of lacticac)d m bblogxal mat.?rwl
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   2325        Cmmer             D T & LJberman            D.     Relativtsric       calculatmn          of anomalous              scattering        factors        for X-rays.          /   Chem
    . .
                 Phys            53:189 f -8, 19”()
   3%4         Cmmer          D T & Mann J B. X-ray scatteringfactors                                  computed           from      numerical         Har[ree-Fock               wa, e f.nct!ons
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   34(A        Cromer D T & Waber J T. Scatwnng         factors                                  computed        from     relat!wslw         Dmac-Slater              wa$e       funcoons.
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   2043       “Cuatrecasas   P. Protcm purification  by affinity                                 chromatography                 J Bml       Chern          245:34) 59-6S.           [970      122 80’ LS )

13,222         Davis B J. DISC ekctrophorests-lf                              Method         and appficalmn              to human          serum      pmtems.           Ann         NY       Aced         S.,
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   2255       “de Duve C. PressmanB C, Gianetto R. WcIIfnux R & AppelmmtsF, Tissue fractionatmn                                                                                studies. 6.
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   33-W        Dole V P. A relation Imtwee.     non-cswr,fwd                                 fa!ty    acids      m plasma          a“d    lhe rnctabolism              of glucose
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  M)52         Dubds   M, Gffles K A, Hamilton J K, Rebers P A & Smith F. Colomnelric                                                              method          for determmamm                    “f
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  6013        ‘            D B. Mult]pk          range      and]ple         F tests. B!.mewtc.r                11: f-42,       195\.     (4:”71
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  2591        “Eflman G L, Courtney K D, Andtes V & FeatberwoneR M. A new and rapid                                                                    colonmetric               determination              of
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Citations                                                                                    Bildiogr,phic Dam

  y)~-        Graham R C & harnovsk> M 1. ‘The eorly \,                                       of ah,<, rpt!<,n of in).cted hor.emf,sh                                     per<, x!da.e          !.    the
    . .
                 pr<,x, mal tufwlc,           of mow           k!<inm         ultra,lr,      wtural c\, f,whrn])\!ry   h} a nc% lechn, qu..                                    J tl,rk,< hem
                (’,/,, <h,,,,        14 291 3(12, 19hh
  48-$       “Greenwood F C, Hunter W M #. Glov.r J S. I he prcfmr. !!<,n ,,f 111 ,-l.,hc[l.,[                                                            h,, ”,:,.          g,,,.    !h h,mm, mr              of high
               SrWf   Hi’h(. d,t, $l(y Jf, <>< h<>,,, J HcI I 1421, !%3 ( 15 7-,
  2W(]       .Ilaks  C N & Rmtdle P 1. l.,., un<,.t.,a>of in\”hn                                         n tlh mwhn        .nt, fxx!y      pr..     IpIt At.          Jht,c h,,,,,        J
                 ‘W 1.1--41> 19(>3 ,’tY no [ \l
   ~~~5       Hamburger V & Hamilton II l., A wrw,                                    of n,,rmal           \Iage,    m tht’ dc, el<,pmcnt                ,,f !hc chick                embryo
    ,.          J     ,M<,r/lh(,/     M      .W02      1~<1
   20”4       Hfggi.s (i M & Anderson R M. l’xpertmcntalpalh,)logy CIf Ihc hter 1.                                                          Rmt#mII(m                  <)1    [h.     h\er      ,,f !hv ah)te
               rat f<,ll<,ti Ing par!ial \urg!va[ r.n,,,, al. 4rt h Po!h<sl 1? lfih-2 [)2. lq.11
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  .IK.3U Humcr W M & Greenwood            F C. IBrep.trdlmn  of iodtnrf   11 Iahelle<i hum.. gr,,wth h,,rm<,n. <>1high \pccific
    .4     acl I\, !v Nut,,,,, 1<)4 4q5f>  1W2
   2(7W JacobF & Monod J, (;tmc!,c rcgulah)r~ n,!wn\         m lh. ,ynthcw.     ,,1 pr<Ne,n\ J 4(,>/                                                                                  1%11
                                                                                                                                                                                     thr,l $(,,
   -J~yj “Jaffe1! f{, A rctmmninzita,m c>I the l!kimn, rl equ. (mn ( h, ,,, J/<,, V 1<11 I lq~ I 1.13 ““l
   2W-    londd M, Ilolm (; & Wigrefl f[. $,!r(a,e marhcr, <u, human ‘[ and H hn,ph<wy k’.             I A large p,,pulat,c,n                                                                                     ,>1
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    ..           fc,rmaft<,n        in (h.    a“tmat     c>rgam,m         I   {{rJ[,{I<.   $,, j[<,rT       7 Pht <,,,/ ( fI<nr 21(1 .1.1
                                                                                                                                        -(,(, iq.12 I ~? X(I 1$1
 Ih n“?       Laanmfi   1’ K, Clcx,,igr <,1 ,,                    rdl pr<,lcin,           dur!ng         tht’ .#.,cn,hl)       ,,f It,.     <,f b,tc!.m,phagr                     14       ,N<,It, rc
    .<          22- h80-S   Iv-()
   21 ().I   “1..skq R A & Miff! A l). f.lmImII,  III\e     rtlnl (Ie!ec!!(,!,<,{‘ti and 14(’ m p,,l>,,cr)l.tmI,l.                                                              @       hy flm,r,,gyaph>
                I ,,, J ff,,,, h<,,,, %].315-41 IT>    I I.\ 83 [ SI
   2.W I




I(N) [>19    “Lowry () fl. Roscbroug.hh J, Far, A f. & Rmtdsfl R J. f>r<r(cw,
                                                                            M,,,,,,,,.,,,,.,,(                                                           !t,[h        th< k<, ],,, phcm,)                r<-agvm
               J 8,<,/ [hcm       2
                              1<1.> 65 ‘5. Ivfl ( I “-,

   f)’W3      Mam-fnl   G, Cmbonnra A () & Herem.ns      J F, lmrnunochcm,.al                                          ,    ta!t<,n ,,f a“ttgen,                      h} %mgfc mdml
                tmmun,,dtff. smn lmmun <,< hw.,, !r.v 2:23? .54 l%<
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                3 2(W1H, 1%1
   +lh,>      Martin       R G & Ames               B N. A nw#hod              f<,r d.trrmining (he <e<hmen(a((<tn                                                                 (,,
                                                                                                                                                hch:<$!<!ur (,f en7vmr\ apfdnca[i<tn
               prolem mixlurt, J H,,,! (’h,,m                           2.36 I l-VI,             IW, I
              MaXmII A V & CJUIW( W. A “es                              mcth<nl            r<,, wqucnc’mg             DNA         Pr,,,     Nt,r ,4<,,,/              s<, i .\ -4                 19””
   2nW         Mmmd J, Wyman 1 & ChangeuxI P. on the miture                                                  ,,{ Almtenc          IrJII, uI,m\          a ph!u,,hk               m,,d.i         J ,M,,l         Ut<>l
                  12 Hk-ll     H, Iqhs
    . .

   34 V,     “MocmheadP S. Vowefl P C, Melfnmn W 1, BaItip, D M & tlungerlord II A, Chr<mum>mc               P,.p.i,,l l,,”\ <,1
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    . .
               Ph)wol Pi”.! 154”.1-9” 1%2  (4.1 “81
   2(183     “M.rpbj     B E P. \,,me $(ucfw, ,,f tht pr<,te,n-himf,. g or .Ier<,,d. an<f thc,r apphca!i,,n    IO the r<,ul,ne mien,                                                                               and
                 ul{ram!mo   meawr emen!    or \drIcw. swr<mh in body fluid\ h! compet!l!tr        pr<ltrin-hlndmg    rmlmas$av
                J [’hn } n<i<,cnrwd Mewh 2“ 9“3-90           19h” IS HI 1 ~!
   4++?      “Nefson N. A ph<,tcmxlr!c    adaptat,,,n                          of the $om,>gyt                 n,v!ht,d    for lhe d@vrm I!mtKm                        ,,f gluc,,w             J JJz,d (’hv,,~
    .,         ] $.3.3-5-H() 1$!4 (.7 -“)
   31-8      “0’ f’’mrelf P Ii. High rc\<dul,,m                   tu<)-,fm,c’n\,mml                 elrvtr,,ph<>rmis             or pr,mem.          J 8,,,1               (’h,.m      25[) .W)-.21,             19-$
                 (<l     W    1.s1
   32,3,,      Omum   T & Sam R, T he carh<m “,,,n<,x)cfe-hi”cf,ng                                         pngmenl        or Imc. r m!cr<,w, me,                  I        I:\ Idem.          [,>r tt,
                 hemoprotem nature. J HI,,{ (“h,,m 2YI 21”(1-8                                            f%+
   3’!14       omstefn I.. DIW elcclruphortw-1                                Hac’hgr,,!, nd and !hc,wy                    .4rIft     NY        4, ml     .S’ !        f 21 121-4<),            f9h4.
   233.3       ouchtedo.j            ().   [)! ffu.!m.,”-g.l       mctfj< xl. It,r m,n)unol<>gmal                         analvw\         }’r,,#r        .lIl<, r.rb 5 I--ti              IY$U


Cimims                                                                               BffdloerauhicDam
  2058     “Rebfeld       R A,      Lewk     O J & Williams            f) E. Dmk       elect r<,vhormis                <,1 basic          rm,teim        and mntiifc,             on
               polyacrylamidc          gels    Na(ure       195 2HI-3,       1%2       (6 HI       LSI
 13,si)-   “Ue>nolds   E S. The uw of lead citrate                       at h,gh pli        as a.         electron-opaque                  $Iain    in electron         rnmr<,wopy.            1 Cell
              B(<)I 1“ 208.12, 1963, (32 81 L\l
  3941      Sahathd       f) f),    Bensch    k,   Barrnett      R J. C>t<,chem,%lry                and c!eclrc,n                  mncrowopy.           J Cell B(,,I          1“ 19-58,        19tI.3.
  0985      Scatchard       C.. The     a(tracli<m\      ,d pr<,tcin\        for ,rnall      m,de.           ule, and i<,m                Ann      NY    ACO<I       srt     51 h(i)--2.        1949

            Scheldegger   J 1. [1.. rnwr<,-meth<,<ie de l’, n)n, ~,.,,. cl.ctr<,ph,,r.\e.                                         1A micr<,-rnelh,d              for mnm.m,.l.ctr<,
              ph,,rew,  ) 1.(  Arch Alk,rf+ - 10.1-10 IWf
  24!(>     Schmidt G & ThmmhauserS 1. A method                               for (he d.tmnina!lcm                      o! d.oxyrihonuclcm                       am!.      nhonuclew           acd
               and phosph<,pr<,te!m             m anmal        ta,ww,       J Hml          [’hmn          I(II     8.+9, 1945
  .3046     Shapiro A L, Vfnuela E & Mairef J V. h~<dcc, ar *cy+h( e.!)malto”
                                                            d                   of p,dypeptidr                                                              cha~n,         by e+ctr<,phorma<
             in 5f)5-p<,lyac rylamxfe gels f?t,,, hem B,r,ph>s R(.c (omrnu,t  2U.UI \-2h, lW-
  2Wh      “Slnger S J & Nkolson    G L. The              rnosa,c    m(>del of (h.                ,lructure          of cell men,hmne\                sctenc<
               1“5 -20-.11, 19”2 146 “-l
  151.1     Smi#hles0, ZOIIL’clectrophore?i\                   I“ starch       @           group     \’drmlmn\               ,.    !hr    wrum         pro!cm.      of normal          hwna”
             adul!s Jl,ochem J hl h2Wll                       19s$
            %mogyi M. Notes<m.ugar <Ieterm,nat,<,n                             J H!<,{        (’hcm              195 IV-2.3 lq52
            Southern       E M. Detection    of ,pecvfw                \eq.tmce.       am<mg         DNA           fragrnen!,             \eparaIed       by gelelcctrc,ph,,           rc\,\
              J ,M()/      8,(,/ 98W.1,   IY”5
            SpachmanD H, SIein W H & Moore S, Aulc, matic                                     rec,mhrig              appara(u\             for use I“ the chrmnak, graphy                       of
             amim, ac,ds. An. / [’hem .%1I 190 20(>, 1%8.
           “SP. ~ A R. A k~w-~,w’<,wtv epoxy                     rr$in     emhe<ldmg         mc+mn                [<,r electron            rnicr,>\cc>Py.        J / ‘II,,J,, r,,,,      ,?CT
             2(, .1-’43, lq6q (50 ‘q LSI
           .Stewar!  R F, Davidson E R & Simpson N T. Cohere. !                                       xray         wattemng               for the hydr,,gcn             a!<,m m (he hydr,,-
               gen molecule. J Chem Ph., s 4? .31-58-, 1%$ (48                                      ‘-1

            Studier      F W,      %d]menmwm            studw\        of the \i,c- an<i shape               <,1 DNA               J Mol         B,o/     I I 3-.3-90, 1965,

           ,Trevel~an       W E, ProrIer     f) P & Harrison                I S, Octect ion of sugar,                    ,,” paper              chrtmmlogra.?.              Nomre
               lM.4.J4    -$, 195(1, ((, “-1
  2s50     “Vine J R. lnhlht!wn    of prostaglamhn  s>nlhew                           a, a mechan!,m                   of act,,,.           for 8\ptrin-l,kc          drug,        N.(ure
   ..         N@. B,,)/ 231,232.5,    19”1 (42 M) 1 ~1
 .348      ‘Venahle 1 H & Coggesh.11 A smIphf
                                     R,                                     Iedlead ci!m(t’         %Iai” for .\c                 in electron          micr<,.c<,py         J Gel! Blot
              2$ 40-.X. 1%5. (10 -“l
 2.302      Warfmrg () & Chrfstian W. Iwhentng und KrMIaHMIt Icm de, (;arung~fermcnt\                                                                  Fn,      (Lwdatwn          and
             crv,lafh?atmn of the ewym.  emdaw  ) Bi<,chem Z 310.384-421, 1%1
 4“42      ‘Warren       L. The thioharhit”rtc           acid a\.av        of \ial~c actd,           J H,<>/ <’hem                       234 lqnl-~        1959       I.?(, ‘-)
 3.308      Watson                                               mwrow<,pv~~lh hea,~ rne!al, J B,<,phb?
                     M L. Stainingof tiwuc .ccII<,., f<,rclccnr<,n
                  chc-m C.wl
              13,<,           4:4”5 -8, lqW
15,1W      Weher K & Oshc.rnM, ‘1he reliahil!(y <,f .I,,lecular  scight determ~.alien\                                                       hy d<nfecyl          .ulfalep<,lyacryl-
            arn,de gel ,Iectr<>ph<me., s J R,<>/ ( hem 244 +loh-1>,    !Vh9

 242H      Wefnherg S. A model                ,,1 lep(on\      Ph~ s I/r,          / eII     !q [264-6, [967

 2--2      Yph,.ds f) A. Eq”ilthrmm                   ultmce”tnf”ga{i<m              of dilute        wdut,,,ns              fJ,<>ch<,mrrrr,v-( ‘.$,4 3211-.31-.                       IW14.

 and other German        journals did not                                                           does not always turn up in a specialist
 qualify. But clearly, the heyday of the                                                           journal. The primordial articles in many
Berichte was in the years before World                                                             specialties will turn up in a multidisci-
War II. Undoubtedly,      had we been able                                                         plinary journal like Nature or Science,
to gain access to our 1955-1964 data                                                               or in some general medical journal such
much sooner, we would have identified                                                              as New England Journal of Medicine or
many more German papers of earlier                                                                 Lancet.    Having selected a highly cited
vintage.                                                                                           paper in a specialist journal, we often
    Table 4 lists the publication dates by                                                         find that the author mentions another
decade of the 100 most-cited        papers.                                                        paper that is clearly the primordial one
Now that the 1955-1964 SC1 has been                                                                for that topic. While the commentary
published, we can identify many of the                                                             submitted concerns the most-cited pa-
earlier classics. Although, in some cases,                                                         per in the leading journal of its field, it
40 years have passed since original publi-                                                         would not be fair to ignore other impor-
cation, we hope many of the authors will                                                           tant papers, often cited more frequently,
still be available for comment. If not, we                                                         which appeared in another journal. In
may solicit a commentary        from a col-                                                        such cases, we invite the author of the
league as we did in the case of Karl G.                                                            other important paper to write a com-
Jansky’s paper in Proceedings        of the                                                        mentary. We have found that the au-
IRE,5.6                                                                                            thors themselves often prevent unfair se-
  Contrary   to widespread      belief, the                                                        lection because we encourage them to
most-cited paper in a particular specialty                                                         mention those papers that had an impor-

Table 4:    Chronological  distribution  of publication           think he might have accepted the “Jour-
    dates of the IGU most-cited articles. A= publica-
                                                                  nal of Citu tion C/assics” as a compromise
    tion date. B = number of papers.
                                                                  for the science historian, if not the work-
     A                                            B
                                                                  ing scientist.
    1920s                                          1                  We are also planning to publish col-
    1930s                                          5              lections of Citation Classics in separate
    I940s                                          8              volumes       as interesting      models     of
    195&                                          28              discovery, While collections         of highly
    1960s                                         41              cited papers may not provide a uniform
    1970s                                         17
                                                                  selection of the “best” in any field you
                                                 1(Y3             care to mention,      they do provide an
                                                                  amazing     sample    of high-impact        re-
    As of 1984, more than 500 different                          search. Although certain journals do
journals and 129 books have been repre-                          have their usual expected list of methods
sented in Citation Classics. Consider that                        classics,   most do not, as can be
there have beenat least 20,000,000 pa-                           demonstrated      by an article-by-article  ex-
pers published, and at least 10,000,000                          amination of the classics for many lead-
of them since 1950. Therefore, there are                         ing journals.
at least 10,000 candidate publications if                            It has been some time since we have
we limit our selections to one for each                          published a list of the all-time Citation
 1,000 published. If we continue to pub-                         C/assics.T.~ Most of the papers in Table 1
lish about 300 per year, it will take 34)                        have been mentioned           before, in one
years to cover another 10,000.                                   essay or another. No need to comment
   Since I would like to benefit from                            further on the ubiquitous anomaly of the
reading at least another 5,000 over the                          Lowry method.g However, since we last
next decade, we will have to do some-                            looked at the top 100 back in 1974, a
thing to accelerate the process. An ex-                          number of newcomers have turned up.
pansion of the Citation Classics feature                         Of the original 1974 list, only 44 of the
in CC/LS and CC/PC&ES is one obvious                             same papers appear in Table 1. Two as-
solution. Another is to create a new sup-                        terisks (** ) indicate that the paper d~d
plementary publication called the “Jour-                         not appear in the earlier list. This is a
nal of Citation Classics. ” Yet another is                       rather large shift. It remains to be seen
to publish commentaries     in other jour-                       whether     the remaining       group of 56
nals. There is always the danger of too                          classics turn up in our future lists. Old
much of a good thing, but considering                            classics rarely die, They don’t even fade
the size of the scientific enterprise, we                        away. What makes them so different
have only scratched the surface. Derek                           from papers that are “obliterated” is part
J. de Solla Price used to talk about the                         of the exciting dynamics of the human
“Journal of Really Important Papers. ” I                         process we call research.
                                                                                                           C19S4 1s,


1, Garffeld E. Introducing        Cifafion   Cbsic$: the human side of scientific reports. E$mys OJ’an
            in/ormafion   wien[isf.   Philadelphia:1S1 Press, 1980. Vol. 3. p. 1-2.
2    --------------- Citation Classics—four years of the human side of science. EmayJ of an information
            scienfi$f.  Philadelphia: 1S1 Press, 1983. Vol. 5. p. 123-34.
3. Schulz-DuBok E O. Arbeiten deutscher Wissenschaftler, die weltweit am hiufigsten zitiert wurden.
          (The most frequently quoted publications by German scientists. ) Umschau 84(1):21-5,              1984.
4. Getter N L, de Cad J S & Davfes R E. Ltietime-citation             rates to compare scientists’ work.
          Sot. Sci. Res. 7:345-65, 1978.
s, hiaky K G. Electrical dk.lurbances apparently of extraterreswial origin, Proc. fRE 21: {3S7-98, 1933.
6, Hey J S. Citation Classic. Commentary on Proc. IRE 21: 13S7-98, 1933.
          Current Contents/Engineering.         Technology & App/ied Sciences 15(23): 16, 4 June 19S4 and
          CC/Physics/, Chemiccd & ,brfh .fcience$ 24(23): 16, 4 June 1984,
7. Garfkld E. Selecting the all-time Citation Classics. Here are the fifty most cited papers for
           1961-1972. Essays of an in~ormation       wienfist. Philadelphia:   1S1 Press, 1977. Vol. 2. p, 6-9.
8. --------------- The second fifty papers most cited from 1961-1972. Emays of an information            xienfi$f.
          Philadelphia: 1S1 Press, 1977. Vol. 2. p. 21-5.
9. --------------- Citation frequency as a measure of research activity and performance. E~says of an
          in~orrnafion   scienti$[. Philadelphia:   1S1 Press, 1977. Vol. 1. p. 406-8.


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