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Évolution des publications scientifiques Bibliometry and mathematics Étienne GHYS Académie des Sciences 14-15 mai 2007 Colloque de lAcadémie des sciences "Évolution des publications scientifiques - Le regard des chercheurs" des 14-15 mai 2007

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Mathematics : a small world 2 500 000 papers written since Euclid… 70 000 mathematical papers each year.

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Mathematicians dont write too much Typically, 1 or 2 published papers per year (averaged over the career) is considered as a good activity. A mathematical paper has usually 1 or 2 authors, sometimes 3. Usually, the bibliography of a paper contains 10 to 20 items. but they read a lot !

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Number of Citations : a useless tool in mathematics Highly depends on the subdomain Example : 27 mathematicians from the Académie des Sciences ! From 5850 to 60 …

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Mathematical « time scale » is long ! Typically a paper is published 1 to 2 years after submission (sometimes more): Referee procedure is fundamental (and long!) « Half life » of a maths paper is 10 to 20 years. Longer for some very good papers.

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The « Impact factor » is not appropriate for mathematicians

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Example : the Comptes Rendus : Mathématique Among the mathematical papers published between 2000 and 2004 3 469 contain a citation to a Compte Rendu Note published in the 90s 1 600 in the 80s 871 in the 70s 465 in the 60s 190 in the 50s 123 in the 19th century !

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How to evaluate a mathematician ? Only good method : read his/her papers ! Acceptable method : trust somebody who read his/her papers. Prizes, Awards, Invitation to Congresses, etc. Comité National des Universités, Comité National dévaluation de la recherche scientifique, etc.

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The mathematical world is small enough to allow a « personalized » evaluation. Read Condorcet ! Essai sur lapplication de lanalyse à la probabilité des décisions rendues à la pluralité des voix (1785)

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