How long should an astronomical paper be to increase its impact?

This astroph paper provides practical advice for young astronomers(especially for graduate student) based on the study of correlation between number of paper pages and its impact(i.e. citation). All papers used in this study are published between 2000 and 2004.

1. Median number of citation is increased from 6 for 2-3 page long article to 50 for 50 page long article.

2. However there is a “Letter effect”: ApJ, A&A letters with 4 page are more cited than articles with 5-10 page.

3. Median citation per paper is increased from 11 for ~9300 A&A papers to 14 for ~5300 MNRAS papers, 16 for ~2550 AJ papers and 20 for 12850 ApJ papers(including ApJ letters and supplements). So impact for individual journal A&A < MNRAS < AJ < ApJ.

Finally semi-humorous advice for first year grad student

1. Be a first author
2. Post to astroph, then your paper will be two times more cited than other articles only published in journal.
3. Make sure your papers be on top of astroph list. They are significantly more cited than other papers far down the list(Avoid to be published on Tue and post “JUST” after 4:00pm Wednesday in US Eastern time).

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~ by ilsangyoon on September 4, 2008.

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