N – Long papers get cited more

The median number of citations rises with the length of the paper, an analysis of 20 027 peer reviewed astronomy papers published in 2000-4 (http://arxiv.org/abs/0809.0692v1). On average 2-3 page articles had six citations, and 50 page articles 50 citations. “I expected that shorter papers would be cited more than longer ones,” said Jörg Dietrich, of the European Southern Observatory. “I assumed that people don’t have time to read long papers.” With the increasing use of citation statistics as indicators of performance, there is a danger that a paper’s length might be increased to gain citations. (Nature 2008;455:274-5