- Life sciences tend to have a flatter citations trend [shaded portion], perhaps because ideas in the field are easier for other experts to grasp—in contrast to fields like mathematics—so it takes less time for them to catch on.
- Among the authors who wrote multiple top papers [arcs that link dots] are five Nobel laureates. John Pople, a theoretical chemist who won in 1998, appears twice in multidisciplinary chemistry and three times in physical chemistry.
- Large numbers of authors [dots] tend to appear on more recent papers, as in environmental science. Ambitious experiments today can require hundreds of scientists, and in some fields big collaborations can lead to very long author lists.
- The most-cited papers [black music notes]have longer lifetimes than others [shaded portions]. Some are methods papers, which lay out experimental techniques other scientists use. Others articulate important theories, cited for decades.
The Life Cycle Of Ideas
How scientific concepts rise and fall