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Estimate of Number of Paleontological Papers In the Universe: Re: paper request
[ I've modified the attribution and quote to more accurately reflect
who wrote what, but the original text below came unaltered from HP
Tommy Tyrberg. This message was held up due to a slight technical
glitch. -- MPR ]
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From: Tyrberg Tommy <email@example.com>
To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com>
Subject: Estimate of Number of Paleontological Papers In the Universe: Re:
Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2000 08:24:35 +0100
Dinosaur Interplanetary Gazette <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> How many paleontological papers can one suppose to have actually
> been written and published since the beginning of such things? Or
> since, perhaps, 1880 to pick an arbitrary date.
Well.... The BFV online has 112,000 VP references (including some
duplications), but is missing the years 1959-80 and 1994-2000. Estimating
(conservatively) that these years would add 30 % one arrives at c. 145,000
However, I know from my own experience that BFV only contains ca 60% of all
references relating to avian palaeontology for the years covered. Coverage
is however very likely better for other taxa. If we estimate a average 75%
coverage this would yield a total of ca 190,000 VP references.
Now comes the difficult part, how many invertebrate palaeontology papers are
there? Considering that vertebrates are a rather small part of palaeontology
(though a well-researched one) it seems unlikely that vertebrate papers
would make up more than half of the total, if anything I would think less
than half. Thus, my guess is that the total number of palaeontological
papers ever written is on the order of 500,000.
For one minor part of VP I can make a more accurate estimate: the total
number of papers concerning avian palaeontology is somewhere between 10,000
and 15,000, probably closer to the lower figure.
Anyone else got more reliable data?
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