A Citation-Based Measure of Scientific Impact within Astronomy

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Abstract

We discuss the application of citation-based scientific impact measures described by Pearce (2004), listing various caveats and things to consider before they can be reliably applied. We also examine the 1000 most cited astronomy papers: as of December 2004, 279 citations were needed to obtain a place on this list. Using this list we count the number of papers published by each author, finding those astronomers with the most entries. For the 15 authors who appear most often we apply the impact measures of Pearce and compare these to those of the field as a whole. Finally we compare the output of the most cited members of the Astronomical Society of Australia to those at the University of Durham, illustrating the effect of a citation hotspot.