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.