Have We Reached a Maximum Astronomical Research Output?

Helmut A. Abt

Kitt Peak National Observatory, Tucson, AZ, USA

I looked at the astronomical research output during the past 50 years in Europe, United Kingdom, and United States. I counted pages in A&A (Europe), MNRAS (UK), and ApJ +AJ (US), correcting for changing journal formats and for authors of papers outside those regions. For the past decade I also added the on-line pages. It turns out that the output is still increasing in each of those regions, relative to their populations. For the US the rate is 125 1000-word pages per million people. For the UK the rate is growing at the same rate but lagging 8 yr behind the US. For the four major European countries (France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlans) the rate is much lower, but if we allow for European papers published in the UK and US, the rate is similar to the US but lagging 12 yr behind.