Publishing Stats for Astrophysics Journals

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Publishing Stats for Astrophysics Journals


Somebody asked me about this recently so this afternoon while I was paying rapt attention to a Zoom call I was attending I did some quick sums and produced the table below. The request that was made was to give details of total numbers of papers published in the big astronomy and astrophysics journals last year. This is easy relatively easy to do using the excellent NASA/ADS search tool.

Name of Journal Number of Papers Number of Citations Average citations per paper
MNRAS 4131 25,540 6.18
A&A 2354 15,901 6.75
ApJ 2859 15,771 5.52
ApJL 726 10,228 14.09
ApJS 338 2,611 7.72
OJAp 50 371 7.42
Citations to papers published in 2023 (Data from NASA/ADS)

In case you weren’t aware of the standard abbreviations, MNRAS is Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society and A&A is Astronomy and Astrophysics; ApJ is the Astrophysical Journal, ApJL is the Astrophysical Journal Letters and ApJS is the Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series. The Open Journal of Astrophysics is OJAp.

Anyway, you can see that the big journals published many more papers last year than OJAp but in terms of citations per paper OJAp is doing well. We have a lot of ground to make up if we’re going to be a significant player in the game in terms of sheer quantity of publications, but since we don’t make a profit from APCs we have no reason to lower standards to achieve that.

If you’re interested, the average citations per paper so far this year (i.e. as of 6th May 2024) are: MNRAS (1.84); A&A (1.66); ApJ (2.29); ApJL (2.05), ApJS (2.09) and OJAp (2.90).

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