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The 20 highest performing authors in Medicine published more than 7700 articles in seven years.


The number of authors per article in the subject area Medicine is 11 on average with a maximum of 1193 authors (Figure 1). Only Physics and Astronomy (Schmidt et al. 2017a) as well as Biochemistry, Genetics, and Molecular Biology (Schmidt et al. 2017a) have higher numbers regarding authors per article. The mean number of coauthors is increasing by 0.4 per year in the respective time period. With a number of n = 7741 articles in seven years, Medicine is the subject area with the most publications according to our methodology (see below). The articles in this analysis were cited 30.7 times on average and with a maximum of 2861 citations.

Figure 1: Boxplot of the number of authors per paper in the subject area Medicine. The box denotes 25–75% of the values with the median (bold line) in it. The small circles are outliers. Due to a limitation of the y-axis, some outliers are not shown. The yellow line shows a linear model of the mean number of authors per article with a confidence interval of 0.95 shown in light grey. Data source: Scopus. CC BY 4.0 Schmidt, Fecher, Kobsda.


The results of the Advanced search in Scopus were restricted by an algorithm with

  • a time period of publishing (2010 to 2016)
  • the document types (articles or reviews),
  • and a quantitative limitation regarding the publication output (articles by the 20 highest performing authors with the most Scopus listed articles in every subject area).

For details and code see Schmidt et al. 2017b.