May 20, 2022

New Report From ISI/Clarivate: “Multi-Authorship and Research Analytics”

UPDATED December 13, 2019 Hyperauthorship: Global Projects Spark Surge in Thousand-Author Papers (via Nature)

From the Institute for Scientific Information at Clarivate Analytics:

A new report released today by the Institute for Scientific Information at Clarivate Analytics identifies a growing number of research articles in the Web of Science with 1,000 or more unique authors across more than 100 different countries. Multi-authorship and research analytics examines the effects of complex and hyper-authorship by author, country, and discipline.

The report argues that data resulting from articles with hyper-authorship, beyond 100 authors and/or 30 countries, produces such erratic, even potentially distorting outcomes, that it should be removed from analysis at a national and institutional level.

The report also describes the combination of many authors plus many countries as driving a complex authorship pattern that differs from more typical academic papers and leads to elevated citation rates. One additional country on an article has a greater citation benefit than one additional author, and author count is linked to a slight but continuous impact rise whereas country count is linked to a steeper impact rise.

The report also finds:

  • Complex authorship (many people, many countries) has continued to rise in the last five years with the dramatic emergence of articles with more than 100 countries
  • The most frequent number of authors on an article is three and 95% of articles analyzed (14.9 million) have ten or fewer authors
  • Author count is linked to a slight but continuous impact rise in Category Normalized Citation Impact (CNCI)
  • 99% of articles have authors from five or fewer countries
  • Country count is linked to a steeper and more erratic impact rise in CNCI

Direct to Full Text Report 
20 pages; PDF. 

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.