May 18, 2022

Comprehensive Scholarly Publishing Dataset Shows Publication Rates in 170 Disciplines at US Universities


Academic Analytics Research Center (AARC) shared comprehensive data on scholarly publication rates in 170 disciplines. The newly available data tables show the rate of journal article, book, conference proceeding, and book chapter publications over different time periods and across different career stages in each discipline.

“There’s a huge range of bibliometric activity across disciplines and by scholars at different points in their career, and limited access to data like these means that those differences aren’t always taken into account by university committees and administrators making comparisons across fields” according to project participant Dick Wheeler, Graduate Dean Emeritus, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Senior Academic Advisor, AARC.

An accompanying essay outlines documents potential pitfalls in bibliometric evaluation across disciplines that the new dataset can be used to address. Mean (average) publication rates, for example, are often skewed higher due to a small number of exceptionally well-published faculty members, potentially resulting in unrealistic publishing expectations. Meanwhile, focusing on journal articles puts some disciplines at a disadvantage in comparative evaluations because books (e.g., English language and Literature) or conference proceedings (e.g., Electrical Engineering) are more common modes of knowledge dissemination. Characteristic rhythms of publication—how often one publishes and in what venues—show great variation, even among closely related disciplines.

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Essay published by Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics is available.


The Rhythms of Scholarly Publication: Suggestions to Enhance Bibliometric Comparisons Across Disciplines


Anthony J. Olejniczak
Academic Analytics Research Center (AARC)

William E. Savage
Academic Analytics Research Center (AARC)

Richard Wheeler
Academic Analytics Research Center (AARC)


Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics
25 January 2022
DOI: 10.3389/frma.2022.812312

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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.