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That's a Lot of Ink

Duncan Hull at O'Really? contemplates the number of scientific journal articles that have been published over the last 350 years. PubMed, the blogger notes, has more than 19 million citations — "around one paper per minute is added to this database (on average)," he adds. "But even this enormous database excludes large swathes of published articles in physics, mathematics, chemistry, engineering and computer science not deemed 'worthy' of indexing by the United States National Library of Medicine," Hull writes. Scopus and ISI Web of Knowledge both claim to have indexed more than 40 million records, he notes, though Google Scholar doesn't list its index size. The University of Ottawa's Arif Jinha puts the estimate at about 50 million articles since 1665, Hull says. To put this figure into perspective, consider that many manuscripts as "one paper for every base-pair in human chromosome Y," or "one paper per tweet at twitter on an average day in 2010," he says.

In other absurd publishing news, Chuck at Lounge of the Lab Lemming asks — hypothetically, of course — if it's wrong to "cobble together a 40 page manuscript that doesn't quite make sense, submit it to a journal under a false name and address, and recommend three people you really don't like to be the reviewers?" The Daily Scan has no comment.