last update: 08/06/2017
    APS Database Analysis Project

    The project is open-source and all of the codes are publicly available on

    APS journals included in the database:
    • Physical Reviews: PR
    • Physical Review A: PRA
    • Physical Review Accelerators and Beams: PRAB
    • Physical Review Applied: PRAPPLIED
    • Physical Review B: PRB
    • Physical Review C: PRC
    • Physical Review D: PRD
    • Physical Review E: PRE
    • Physical Review (Series I): PRI
    • Physical Review Letters: PRL
    • Physical Review Fluids: PRFLUIDS
    • Physical Review Physics Education Research: PRPER
    • Physical Review Special Topics - Accelerators and Beams: PRSTAB
    • Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research: PRSTPER
    • Physical Review X: PRX
    • Reviews of Modern Physics: RMP

    The number of papers published in the TOP 6 APS journals and the fraction of the papers published in a given journal (normalized by the number of papers published in a given year in all APS journals).
    In 1958 Physical Review Letters (PRL) emerged as a journal to communicate short but important findings in physics. The journal has been steadily growing reaching about 4000 papers being published in it every year. Its sister journal Physical Review (PR) has been the major APS journal to communicate longer articles prior 1970. In 1969 the number of articles published in the journal reached about 4000 per year (same number as PRL around 2010). This lead to the journal's split off into physical review A,B,C and D. Originally the findings in statistical physics and non-linear dynamics has been published in PRA. However rapidly growing number of papers published in this topics lead to the emergence of a new journal: PRE devoted to statistical mechanics, non-linear dynamics and soft matter.

    The inset (semi-log plot) in the right-hand side of the plot gives the total number (all 16 journals) of papers published ever year. The data shows that the number of physics papers published by APS grows exponentially!

    Average number of authors over time: averaged over all of the APS journals and for the 6 most popular journals.
    As expected the average number of authors on the paper steadily increases in time, reaching 4 authors on average around 2010. In the early days, paper were having lower number of authors but also the maximum number of authors were not more than 2-3 before WW2. In fifties this trend has changed with a fast pace of growing max number of authors. That number levels off in seventies at the value 25. It's probably because APS doesn't store more than 25 authors for each entry in the database.

    Additionally there are two trends if we look at that number for each journal separately. PRL and PRB have at the moment the same average number of authors on the paper (~5). This is in contrast to PRE and PRD journals that have around 3 authors on average.

    The summary of the number of paper published by people having affiliation with the country. The summary accounts only after the collapse of the Soviet Union, so in principle most of the countries have the same chance to publish in APS journals. f3

    Probability that, if a paper has more than one author, and one of them is affiiated with a country >>y<<, any other author is affiliated with with a country >>x<<.
    Diagonal values are the probability that if there is more than one author on the paper, at least one of them is affiliated with a given country: P(x|2).
    Full data (different journals and number of authors on a paper) can be obtained here.

    Number of papers published (since 1893) by physicists affiliated with a given country per 1000 citizens. This metric is supposed to express how much each goverment invest in Science per capita.
    Surprisingly, the biggest "publisher" - USA, is pretty low in the ranking whereas the top of the list occupy countries like Switzerland, Israel, UK and Sweden. It's interesting to notice that Sweden is not even in TOP 15 countries.

    In terms of the absolute number of published papers, two country dominate in Europe: UK and France. The next countries in the ranking are Italy, Germany, Russia and Spain which has published of the same order of papers in APS journals.

    Summary of the number of papers published by the authors from the top 9 European countries. The number given in parenthesis is a total number of papers published by the scientists from that country in PRL, PRE, PRA, PRB, and PRB. The publishing trends for each country correlate closely with the general trend for all countries all togeter, with the largest number of papers being published in PRB and PRL being the second most popular journal.