Objectives: Editors of many established journals have noticed throughout the years an increase in the number of authors per article. I wish to put this theory to rest by calculating this linear increase for several prestigious journals. Methods: I chose several prestigious journals and obtained authorship information for all articles published throughout the existence of these journals from the PubMed website. The data collection was performed on January 22, 2006, and was performed for the years from 1/1/1950 to 12/31/ 2005 for each journal. With the use of several self-developed software programs and database queries, I was able to calculate the average number of authors per article per year and the percent of single-author articles per year for these journals. Results: The result confirms the increase in the number of authors per article in a linear fashion for all examined journals. The result also shows a decrease in the number of single-author articles in a sporadic fashion for all examined journals. Conclusions: The data collection and calculation method can be used for any journal indexed in PubMed. The resulting trends are likely due to the increasing complexity of research, the increasing pressure on researchers to publish or perish, among others. This paper, however, focuses less on the reasons for this trend and more on the computerized methods used to obtain the results.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Saudi Medical Journal|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1 2007|
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