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Citation to string has crashed-any idea why?

  1. 650 (like in 2005)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. 600 (like in 2006)

    50.0%
  3. 550 (like last year)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. 500

    50.0%
  5. 450

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. 400

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. May 4, 2008 #1

    marcus

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    Citation to string has crashed--any idea why?

    Citations to a paper are a rough indicator of its value in the eyes of other experts. When we are sampling stringy papers it indicates value/usefulness/importance as judged by other string researchers.

    Measured this way, the perceived value of recent string research has declined sharply. I would like to know other people's ideas about why this happened. The data is quite remarkable.

    Bear in mind that this is no ultimate measure of scientific value, it is just how the experts (the string theorists) judge the merit of their own and their colleagues' work, as shown by their behavior. Although I tend to trust them in this matter, the experts might of course be wrong---they could have overlooked the value of recent work, or conversely they may have overestimated the worth in earlier years.
    In any given year I consider RECENT to be papers published in the past five years. So in 2005 the recent papers are those published in 2001-2005. Each year Spires provides a list of the papers receiving the most citations in that year. I have sampled the four most highly cited recent papers in each of several years and summed to get a rough measure.

    Total cites garnered in each given year by the top four recent hep-th string papers
    Code (Text):

    Year    Total Cites
    2002    1304
    2003    1230
    2004     712
    2005     649
    2006     624
    2007     550
    2008      ..?
     
    What reason can you suggest for this decline in expert-perceived merit? If you have an explanation in mind, then perhaps you can project. What do you think the corresponding citation figure will be for this year? Will it bounce back to levels of 2005 or 2006? People who might be aware of hot topics (if any) in the current literature may be able to give some guidance as to what to expect.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. May 18, 2008 #2

    marcus

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    The 50 most highly cited papers during 2005 in the hep-th archive
    http://www.slac.stanford.edu/spires/topcites/2005/eprints/to_hep-th_annual.shtml

    The 50 most highly cited papers during 2006 in the hep-th archive
    http://www.slac.stanford.edu/spires/topcites/2006/eprints/to_hep-th_annual.shtml

    The 50 most highly cited papers during 2007 in the hep-th archive
    http://www.slac.stanford.edu/spires/topcites/2007/eprints/to_hep-th_annual.shtml

    The way I get each number is to look at each list and pick out the string papers that are RECENT. That is, in 2007 it would be those published in the fiveyear period 2003-2007 inclusive. And take the top four and add up the cites.

    The data seems to have been corrected since I made the first pass, now the decline looks like it was sharper.
    The figure for 2007 is now 477 instead of 550

    The top four in 2007 were


    #

    226
    De Sitter vacua in string theory
    By Shamit Kachru (Stanford U., Phys. Dept. & SLAC), Renata Kallosh, Andrei Linde (Stanford U., Phys. Dept.), Sandip P. Trivedi (Tata Inst.).
    Published in:Phys.Rev.D68:046005,2003 (arXiv: hep-th/0301240)
    [983 Total citations in HEP]

    99
    Flux compactification
    By Michael R. Douglas (Rutgers U., Piscataway & IHES, Bures-sur-Yvette), Shamit Kachru (Stanford U., Phys. Dept. & SLAC & Santa Barbara, KITP).
    Published in:Rev.Mod.Phys.79:733-796,2007 (arXiv: hep-th/0610102)
    [131 Total citations in HEP]

    83
    Four-dimensional String Compactifications with D-Branes, Orientifolds and Fluxes
    By Ralph Blumenhagen (Munich, Max Planck Inst.), Boris Kors (CERN), Dieter Lust (Munich, Max Planck Inst. & ASC, Munich), Stephan Stieberger (CERN & ASC, Munich).
    Published in:Phys.Rept.445:1-193,2007 (arXiv: hep-th/0610327)
    [98 Total citations in HEP]

    69
    Flux compactifications in string theory: A Comprehensive review
    By Mariana Grana (Ecole Normale Superieure & Ecole Polytechnique, CPHT).
    Published in:Phys.Rept.423:91-158,2006 (arXiv: hep-th/0509003)
    [175 Total citations in HEP]

    That's what adds up to 477.
    Let me know if you see any error
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2008
  4. May 18, 2008 #3

    marcus

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    I corrected the list (data for years 2006 and 2007 had changed slightly.)

    Total cites garnered in each given year by the top four recent hep-th string papers
    Code (Text):

    Year    Total Cites
    2002    1304
    2003    1230
    2004     712
    2005     649
    2006     625
    2007     477
    2008      ..?
     
    What reason can you suggest for this decline in research merit as indicated by the experts themselves?

    Hopefully to avoid any misunderstanding, I will repeat something said earlier:
    Bear in mind that this is no ultimate measure of scientific value, it is just how the experts (the string theorists) judge the merit of their own and their colleagues' work, as shown by their behavior. Although I tend to trust them in this matter, the experts might of course be wrong---they could have overlooked the value of recent work, or conversely they may have overestimated the worth in earlier years.
    In any given year I consider RECENT to be papers published in the past five years. So in 2005 the recent papers are those published in 2001-2005. Each year Spires provides a list of the papers receiving the most citations in that year. I have sampled the four most highly cited recent string papers in each of several years and summed to get a rough measure.
     
  5. May 27, 2008 #4

    marcus

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    Basically these indicators are just straws in the wind. Individually they don't necessarily mean very much. But they also might signal something real. I would like other people's reactions. Do you think this matters or is it just a random fluctuation.

    Here is another example. at the main annual conference Strings-2005 there were 48 string talks actually more if you count the individual panel-members presentations at the big panel discussion. At Strings-2007 there were still more than 40 string talks (not counting Witten's talk which didn't seem very stringy).

    But at Strings-2008 I would estimate only 32.
    There will be 36 talks in all but at least 4 are not string. So there is some dwindling there.
    maybe it means something, maybe not.
     
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