11.3 Development of the literature over time

Publish or Perish can also be used to analyze the development of the literature on any particular topic over time. Using the General Citation search function you can search for particular key-words and look at how the number of papers published varies over time.

In order to eliminate a potentially large range of irrelevant results it might be a good idea to focus on a small set of journals. Journals can be combined with the OR function in the publication field, although Google Scholar sometimes refuses to run searches when more than two quoted journal names are included. It is as yet unclear what triggers this.

At present Publish or Perish does not yet have a way to further analyze for instance the number of publications per year. However, this can be done quite easily by exporting the data to a spreadsheet or statistical program. In addition, by selecting all publications in a year, clicking “unselect” and looking at the reduction in the number of papers, you can easily establish the number of papers per year. I have provided two worked examples in below.