Basic ESO Publication Statistics

1996 - 2021
Last data update: 26 June 2022

Introduction

What is the ESO Telescope Bibliography?

The ESO Telescope Bibliography (telbib) is a database of refereed papers published by the ESO users' community. All papers use partly or exclusively data from ESO telescopes.

Coverage and Completeness
Access, Reports, Statistics
Paper classification / selection criteria
Populating the Database

ESO total

Publications

ESO publication statistics are derived from the Telescope Bibliography (telbib), a database of refereed articles that directly use ESO data. telbib is maintained by the ESO library. Here, we provide some basic statistics to give an overview of publications and citations for the publication years 1996-2021.

Notes:

VLT/VLTI: papers using data generated by VLT and VLTI instruments, including visitor instruments for which observing time is recommended by ESO, e.g., VLT Ultracam, VLTI PIONIER.

La Silla: papers using data generated by facilities located on La Silla, including visitor instruments for which observing time is recommended by ESO, e.g., NTT Ultracam. Papers based on data from non-ESO telescopes or observations obtained during ‘private’ periods are not included. Survey telescopes: papers using data generated by ESO’s survey telescopes VISTA and VST

APEX: papers using data generated by APEX, including visitor instruments for which observing time is recommended by ESO, e.g., APEX P-Artemis, APEX Z-Spec. Other visitor instruments (e.g., APEX/CONDOR) are excluded. Only papers based (entirely or partly) on ESO APEX time are included.

ALMA: papers using data generated by ALMA. Only papers based (entirely or partly) on European ALMA time are included.

Archive: papers using partly or exclusively archival data, i.e., observations without any overlap between observers and authors.

Papers can use data from more than one facility, therefore the total number cannot be calculated by simply adding all publications of the individual sites, telescopes, or instruments. Publication and citation statistics mentioned in this report date from June 2022, unless indicated otherwise.

Papers can use data from more than one facility, therefore the total number cannot be calculated by simply adding all publications of the individual sites, telescopes, or instruments.

Publication and citation statistics mentioned in this report date from June 2022, unless indicated otherwise

Table 1: Number of refereed papers using ESO data (see also http://telbib.eso.org/pubstats_overview.php)
VLT/VLTILa SillaSurvey tel.APEXALMAArchiveTotal
199603500000350
199703890000389
199804050000405
1999293240001348
2000512990003341
20011053160006399
200216028900019409
200326030500020512
200434231600054588
200535929700055607
2006413280012098641
2007495312010115718
2008486289080107689
20094732600150115660
20105102772282134738
2011555286132713142786
2012615270304030223866
2013568273384438225843
2014563267734773211871
2015555211943394237863
201656719910949109268946
2017634232152461523291,092
2018621239145441453481,098
2019600210150331503821,080
2020612209155381553841,079
2021636199189351894341,139
Total10,2097,3031,1505001,1503,91018,457

Citations

In bibliometric studies, numbers of publications show the observatory’s productivity, citations the impact papers have made among the community. Since it takes time to gather citations, older papers typically have higher citation numbers than recent ones.
While it is tempting to use publication and citation statistics for comparisons, this has to be done with utmost care as the numbers may have been obtained with different methodologies.

Table 2: Total and average citations of refereed papers using ESO data
PubsCitesAverage
199635018,39153
199738919,17649
199840537,65393
199934831,05689
200034119,28457
200139922,36856
200240925,49162
200351238,56975
200458846,51579
200560737,53662
200664147,46974
200771846,85765
200868942,55362
200966047,80972
201073847,88065
201178644,31756
201286645,24452
201384349,39859
201487143,65850
201586340,97647
201694641,84644
20171,09243,58540
20181,09839,54536
20191,08025,25323
20201,07916,56515
20211,1399,1348

ESO and Other observatories

In order to put ESO’s research output into context, we give an overview of the total numbers of publications of major observatories for the publication years 1996 to 2021 (if already available). Note that some facilities date back further than that; their early years are not included in this graph.
The most simplistic way of comparing facilities is to look at the numbers of publications. Obviously, this favors large institutions with many facilities over smaller ones. A more meaningful investigation should normalize the numbers in some way, for instance by number of observing hours, by actual share of data used in the papers (as many scientific articles use data from more than one observatory), or by budget (telescope construction costs and maintenance).
When comparing publication statistics among different observatories, it is essential to assess the selection criteria applied by each observatory. To the best of our knowledge, the observatories shown in this graph include only papers that actually use observational data from their facilities (as opposed to merely referencing them). All papers were published in refereed journals.

The statistics shown in Fig. 3 and Table 3 were obtained as follows:

ESO total, VLT/VLTI, La Silla, ESO survey telescope, APEX (ESO and all partners), ALMA (Europe and all partners): ESO Telescope Bibliography (http://telbib.eso.org)

Chandra: Chandra Bibliographic Statistics (http://cxc.harvard.edu/cda/bibstats/bibstats.html ‘Refereed Chandra Science Papers’ and http://cxc.harvard.edu/cda/bibstats/plots/Current/Papers_by-year.txt)

Gemini: Gemini publications, (http://www.gemini.edu/science/publications/)

HST: HST Publication Statistics (http://archive.stsci.edu/hst/bibliography/pubstat.html)

Keck: Keck Science Bibliography (http://www2.keck.hawaii.edu/library/keck_papers.html)

Spitzer: Spitzer Bibliographical Database (http://sohelp2.ipac.caltech.edu/bibsearch/, Observational + Legacy Enhanced Data Products)

Subaru: Subaru Publishing Results (https://subarutelescope.org/Observing/Proposals/Publish/index.html)

XMM: XMM-Newton in the Journals (http://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/xmm/xmmbib.html). Number of publications per year provided by Norbert Schartel, ESA, Madrid, Spain

Table 3: Number of refereed papers using data from ESO and other observatories. Pre-1999 statistics and links to the observatory statistics can be found via the links listed below Fig. 3
ESO
total
VLT/
VLTI
La
Silla
Survey
tel.
APEX
(ESO)
ALMA
(ESO)
APEX
(all)
ALMA
(all)
ChandraGeminiHSTKeckSpitzerSubaruXMM
1996350035000000 0030753000
1997389038900000 0037868000
1998405040500000 00509109000
19993482932400000 00502128000
20003415129900000 5625371690171
200139910531600000 198256017502385
200240916028900000 33125602193052107
200351226030500000 43127607210052242
200458834231600000 398546112149073357
200560735929700000 4467868623213868350
20066414132800120220 55310171527732292441
200771849531201050 493122728312503103389
2008689486289080190 513135704262527106438
20096604732600150290 430150679269681122472
20107385102772280490 421129734289698139418
201178655528613270500 433189789304659141450
20128666152703040166619 451169848340717166414
20138435682733844407465 424205785319694119438
20148715632677347477497 396230819301661125399
201586355521194337363147 428205853306668145370
20169465671991094913179234 432201883305587119453
201710926342321524615272339 473228914305617133394
201810986212391454418878381 453199968318558155460
201910806002101503321565453 4202611015312530147452
202010796122091553821268443 384250928293465159388
202111396361991893521661483 3362410001540
Total18,45710,2097,3031,1505001,2908742,6618,9003,20317,6616,0639,1152,4107,518

ESO Top 20

The ESO Top 20 list contains the 20 articles that gathered the highest number of citations. All papers directly use ESO data and were published in refereed journals.
The first two papers are the two highest quoted refereed papers listed on the ADS (see http://tinyurl.com/lwb2tbc)

Table 4: ESO Top 20 papers (as of Feb. 2022)
#BibcodeCitationsTitleAuthorsTelescopes / Instruments
11998AJ....116.1009R13965Observational Evidence from Supernovae for an Accelerating Universe and a Cosmological ConstantRiess et al.Danish1.5, E1.5, E3.6, EMMI, NTT
21999ApJ...517..565P13714Measurements of Ω and Λ from 42 High-Redshift SupernovaePerlmutter et al.E3.6, EFOSC2
32018A&A...616A...1G5895Gaia Data Release 2. Summary of the contents and survey propertiesGaia Collaboration et al.OMEGACAM
42016A&A...595A...1G3582The Gaia missionGaia Collaboration et al.OMEGACAM
52004ApJ...607..665R3570Type Ia Supernova Discoveries at z > 1 from the Hubble Space Telescope: Evidence for Past Deceleration and Constraints on Dark Energy EvolutionRiess et al.FORS2
62013Sci...340..448A2414A Massive Pulsar in a Compact Relativistic BinaryAntoniadis et al.FORS2
72017ApJ...848L..12A2357Multi-messenger Observations of a Binary Neutron Star MergerAbbott et al.EFOSC2, FORS2, HAWKI, MUSE, NACO, OMEGACAM, SOFI, VIMOS, VIRCAM, VISIR, XSHOOTER
82006A&A...447...31A2195The Supernova Legacy Survey: measurement of ΩM, ΩΛ and w from the first year data setAstier et al.FORS1
91998Natur.391...51P2096Discovery of a supernova explosion at half the age of the universePerlmutter et al.E3.6
102003ApJ...594....1T1635Cosmological Results from High-z SupernovaeTonry et al.FORS1, ISAAC
111998Natur.395..670G1623An unusual supernova in the error box of the γ-ray burst of 25 April 1998Galama et al.Danish1.5, Dutch0.9, EMMI
122003ApJ...598..102K1476New Constraints on ΩM, ΩΛ, and w from an Independent Set of 11 High-Redshift Supernovae Observed with the Hubble Space TelescopeKnop et al.EFOSC2, FORS1
132006ApJ...648L.109C1423A Direct Empirical Proof of the Existence of Dark MatterClowe et al.FORS1, WFI
142004A&A...418..989N1419The Geneva-Copenhagen survey of the Solar neighbourhood. Ages, metallicities, and kinematic properties of ˜14 000 F and G dwarfsNordstrom et al.Danish1.5
152014A&A...568A..22B1407Improved cosmological constraints from a joint analysis of the SDSS-II and SNLS supernova samplesBetoule et al.EMMI
162007ApJS..172....1S1399The Cosmic Evolution Survey (COSMOS): OverviewScoville et al.VIMOS
172004ApJ...600L..93G1395The Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey: Initial Results from Optical and Near-Infrared ImagingGiavalisco et al.FORS1, FORS2, ISAAC, SOFI, WFI
182010ApJ...721..193P1339Mass and Environment as Drivers of Galaxy Evolution in SDSS and zCOSMOS and the Origin of the Schechter FunctionPeng et al.VIMOS
192008ApJ...686..749K1312Improved Cosmological Constraints from New, Old, and Combined Supernova Data SetsKowalski et al.Danish1.5, EFOSC2
202007ApJ...670..156D1263Multiwavelength Study of Massive Galaxies at z~2. I. Star Formation and Galaxy GrowthDaddi et al.FORS2, ISAAC

VLT instruments

VLT papers use data generated by VLT instruments. Visitor instruments for which observing time is recommended by ESO, e.g., VLT Ultracam, are included in the general VLT statistics, but are not shown in Fig. 4. Instrument-level data for the VLT are available since the beginning of operations, i.e., from publication year 1999 onwards

FLAMES papers are listed as GIRAFFE and/or UVES. NACO = NAOS + CONICA. SINFONI = SPIFFI + MACAO

Table 5: Number of refereed papers using VLT data
CRIRESESPRESSOFORS1FORS2GIRAFFEHAWK-IISAACKMOSMUSENACOSINFONISPHEREUVESVIMOSVISIRX-SHOOTER
199900130005000000000
20000024200110000016000
200100501000230000033000
200200603000380010051000
2003009143107500101071000
20040010389308600232098200
200500768290840031101042030
20060089781908800391301172060
200730888230083005027013457140
200870779833268005124013046220
20091007510436672004129011067200
201019049913917750056360134601913
2011210551135224510050410123572137
2012250471365027640055410136932350
2013270401014938461058330119761770
2014230271065929423249420137791368
2015200159157243391746361614663478
201613021109333434104738392912475867
20171601610739371719773037341348923103
20189018824324191399333647140688103
20191711060341814121224037411393718103
2020520564271610171322633611215916110
2021321125242271019164252543134551495
Total218421,0611,7306553231,0481036607525332712,4511,023249897

VLTI instruments

VLTI papers use data generated by VLTI instruments, including visitor instruments for which observing time is recommended by ESO, e.g, VLTI PIONIER. Instrument-level data for the VLTI are available since the beginning of operations, i.e., from publication year 2002 onwards

Table 6: Number of refereed publications using data from VLTI instruments
AMBERGRAVITYMATISSEMIDIPIONIERVINCI
2002000001
2003000006
20040003012
20050005012
20061001106
20079001904
200812001101
200912001814
20101200601
201116001341
20121800821
201320002030
2014150012131
201511001040
201613007110
201710705151
20187906100
20197806120
20207221390
202142363100
Total1746971669451

Survey telescopes: VISTA + VST

ESO’s Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA), with its VIRCAM camera, has produced science papers since 2010. Papers mostly use data from the VVV, VIKING, VMC, UltraVISTA, VHS, and VIDEO surveys. Observations with OmegaCAM at the VLT Survey Telescope (VST) led to the first data papers in 2014.

Table 7: Number of refereed publications using data from the VISTA and VST telescopes
VISTA (VIRCAM)VST (OmegaCAM)
201020
2011130
2012300
2013380
2014658
20157224
20169419
201710255
201810749
201910158
202011661
202114671
Total886345

La Silla instruments

This section reports on papers that use data generated by other facilities of the La Silla Paranal (LSP) Observatory, located on La Silla. Papers based on data from non-ESO telescopes or observations obtained during reserved periods (e.g., national allocations of time) are not included. Instrument-level data for La Silla facilities are shown below from publication year 2000 onwards. Only papers based on data from FEROS (1.5m and 2.2m tel. combined), WFI (2.2m) EFOSC2 (2.2m, 3.6m, NTT combined), HARPS (3.6m), EMMI, and SOFI (both NTT) are included in the graph. The table also shows papers based on data from smaller or decommissioned La Silla facilities (e.g., TIMMI2, SUSI2) if observations took place during ESO time. Visitor instruments for which observing time is recommended by ESO (e.g., NTT Ultracam) are included in the general statistics, but are not shown in Fig. 7

Table 8: Number of refereed papers using data from La Silla facilities
2.2m 3.6mNTTLa Silla decomm.
FEROSWFIHARPSEFOSC2EMMISOFI
2000630245220237
200128160473431215
200219180283948178
200334150444251169
200423382245363175
2005423010284949135
200636471223575591
200740522127684897
200848412630456580
200938333530435468
201048354940404455
201148336347384547
201254365940314434
201347327363314337
201449377147174935
201540268146133817
20163515834463120
20174099856112820
20184011121487308
20193491024432419
20203021223631715
2021505984611414
Total8295431,1268626838911,766

EFOSC2 = EFOSC2@NTT, EFOSC2@3.6m + EFOSC2@2.2m
FEROS = FEROS@1.5m + FEROS@2.2m
La Silla decomm. = small or decommissioned facilities.
National telescopes (e.g., Swiss Euler Tel.) are excluded

APEX

APEX is a collaboration between the Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR, 55%), the Onsala Space Observatory (OSO, 13%), and ESO (32%). The telescope is located on the Chajnantor plateau in Chile’s Atacama region and is operated by ESO.

Publication information for APEX is available since the beginning of operations, i.e., from publication year 2006 onwards. Pa- pers based on data from all APEX partners are recorded in the ESO Telescope Bibliography (telbib), but only those that use ESO/APEX data are counted in the ESO statistics.

Table 9: Number of refereed publications using ESO/APEX data and data generated by all APEX partners, respectively.
APEX
ESO/APEXall APEX
20061222
200715
2008819
20091529
20102849
20112750
20124066
20134474
20144774
20153363
20164979
20174672
20184478
20193365
20203868
20213561
Total500874


Imagers: APEX-SZ, Artemis, LABOCA, P-Artemis, SABOCA, SUPERCAM
Spectrographs: APEX-2A, CHAMP+, CONDOR, FLASH, LAsMA, MPI_1.1THz, nFLASH, PI230, SEPIA, SHFI, ZEUS-2, Z-Spec

ALMA

ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, is an international collaboration between Europe, East Asia, and North America in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. The European executive is represented by ESO, which also hosts the European ALMA Regional Centre. The other partners North America and East Asia are represented by NRAO and NAOJ, re- spectively. The ALMA telescope bibliography is maintained by the librarians at ESO and NRAO as well as by NAOJ.

Papers based on European observing time as well as on data from all ALMA partners are recorded in the ESO Telescope Bib- liography (telbib), but only those that use ESO/ALMA data are counted in the ESO statistics. Both numbers are shown below for comparison.

Papers resulting from science verification data are attributed to the four ALMA partners JAO, ESO, North America, and East Asia.

Table 10: Number of refereed publications using ESO/ALMA data and data generated by all ALMA partners per year, respectively.
ALMA
ESO/ALMAall ALMA
20121619
20134065
20144797
201573147
2016131234
2017152339
2018188381
2019215453
2020212443
2021216483
Total1,2902,661

More Information

Articles and Presentations

For articles and presentations related to the ESO Telescope Bibliography, see http://www.eso.org/sci/libraries/useful_links/publications.html

Further telbib-related links:

Search: ESO Telescope Bibliography (telbib)
Cite: ESO data citation policy
Understand: telbib Methodology
Explore: More info, reports, statistics


Cite as:

Grothkopf, U.; Meakins, S.; Escarlate, N.; Saldias, L. (2022). Basic ESO Publication Statistics. European Southern Observatory (ESO). https://doi.org/10.18727/docs/12


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