Transition and Continuance in Science Production: Authorship Flow in Chemistry




The aim of this article is to study authorship flow in Iranian ISI articles in the field of chemistry based on Price’s model. Price divided authors in each given period in any field into four groups including newcomers, transients, continuants, and terminators. He maintained that actuarial statistics could be applied to authorship to calculate death rate and birth rate in scientific fields. A total 25,573 articles written by 59,661 Iranian chemistry authors between 1973 and 2012 were downloaded from Web of Science and were subjected to statistical analysis. The average birth rate was 66.7%, the average death rate was 19.4%, infant mortality rate was 51.2%, average natural increase was 47.3%, the average life expectancy was 1.98 years and the longest scientific age was 22 years. The results show that although a large number of people start their scientific activity, the number of those who terminate their activity in the same year as they start (infant death rate) is also large and little continuity exist in publishing activities of Iranian chemists. The overall labor force in the field of chemistry in Iran was not satisfactory as the majority of authors in each period are transients. Policy makers need to take measures to improve the situation.