Notes on Italian productivity in Astronomy

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Notes on Italian astronomical productivity

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In the following two figures, we give some details on the Italian impact on worldwide astronomical research.

Italian impact on Astronomy

Here, we show the fraction of the first 100 (200) most cited papers, of the total number of papers published, from 1930 to 2010, with the first author working in an Italian institute. Blue squares are 5 years running averages. Note how the foundation of ex-CNR institutes (now part ofINAF) and the reform of the Astronomical Observatories, and the partecipation of Italy to ESO, influenced the quality of Italian research.

Age of most cited authors

Above,  we show instead the age distribution of the most cited Italian author for years 1960-2007, compared with the age distribution of INAF staff researchers. Both distributions are normalized to their respective total number. Clearly, the most productive scientists are younger than the average age of INAF staff scientists. This means that a large space should be given to young, non-staff researchers in order to mantain a good scientific international level.