Scaling phenomena in the growth dynamics of scientific output

Kaushik Matia*, Luis A.Nunes Amaral, Marc Luwel, Henk F. Moed, H. Eugene Stanley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


We analyze a set of three databases at different levels of aggregation: (a) a database of approximately 106 publications from 247 countries published from 1980-2001, (b) a database of 508 academic institutions from the European Union (EU) and 408 institutes from the United States for the 11-year period of 1991-2001, and (c) a database of 2,330 Flemish authors published in the period from 1980-2000. At all levels of aggregation we find that the mean annual growth rates of publications is independent of the number of publications of the various units involved. We also find that the standard deviation of the distribution of annual growth rates decays with the number of publications as a power law with exponent ≈ 0.3. These findings are consistent with those of recent studies of systems such as the size of research and development funding budgets of countries, the research publication volumes of U.S. universities, and the size of business firms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)893-902
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jul 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Artificial Intelligence

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