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Chandra Bibliographic Statistics

Tracking Scientific Productivity:

To evaluate the relative scientific effectiveness of Chandra observations, we have undertaken to compile and study data on related publications. Across institutions and even across disciplines, professional publications and citations represent the most commonly used and accepted method of tracking scientific productivity. See the March 2004 Newsletter article describing this effort.

Basic Annual Bibliographic Statistics (as of 2017-03-01) :

The basic annual bibliographic statistical data for the Chandra X-ray Observatory pertain to papers on Chandra observations. These papers fall into two groups: those that present specific Chandra observations (Category 1) and those that refer to published Chandra results with complementary observations, follow-up analysis, or theoretical analysis (Category 2 with flags A, B, or C). We define these as Chandra Science Papers.

Year Refereed
Number of
to these
in Refereed
Papers *
2000 56 6847 59 108
2001 198 17315 207 439
2002 331 23292 363 1001
2003 431 25434 491 1745
2004 398 20451 468 2148
2005 446 21660 548 2714
2006 553 27917 660 1979
2007 493 21970 554 2012
2008 523 20298 639 3899
2009 430 17302 498 4451
2010 422 15098 488 3485
2011 434 12873 490 5141
2012 448 11999 516 7448
2013 415 9090 468 7009
2014 390 6013 433 6327
2015 427 4462 463 6705
Total 6395 262021 7345  

* Note: this is a lower limit since it refers to Category 1 papers only.

The Chandra Bibliography Database:

The Chandra Bibliography Database allows the public to search all Chandra-related articles and to follow links from the data to the literature, as well as from the literature to the data. Thanks to the Astrophysics Data System (ADS), publication data are highly complete, and relatively easy to track. We query the ADS daily for publications related to Chandra or to X-ray astronomy, and we are complete from before Chandra's launch. We review the publications, categorize them by several different parameters, and enter them into the Bibliography Database. For publications that present, analyze, or refer to Chandra data, we determine the ObsIds involved (either from the text or by asking the authors). ObsIds allow links to other information, such as Chandra Proposal Database items like scientific category and proposal type.

(You Know What They Say About) Statistics:

The Chandra Biliography Database allows for the compilation of a large number of publication statistics. We create selected data tables and plots, linked below, which are updated monthly. The resulting plots and statistics have the potential for misinterpretation, unless one is alert to embedded assumptions and details affecting the tally. For instance, most plots linked here (except those by publication year) include only refereed journal articles that present specific Chandra observations, and all plots tally only programs whose observations are complete. We strongly recommend reading both the NOTES and CAVEATS and the DEFINITIONS and CONVENTIONS, as a guide for interpreting the plots linked below. If you have pressing questions or concerns, please contact Paul Green of the Chandra Director's Office.

Plots and Data:

Refereed Chandra Science Papers by Publication Year
Citations to Refereed Chandra Science Papers by Publication Year
Plots and Data for Category 1 papers only

Supporting Documents: