Number of papers published annually in ESPL, Geomorphology, JGR-ES, and ESURF

In a previous post I looked at how many coastal dune papers are published every year. In this post I look at how many Earth Surface Processes/Geomorphology papers are produced per year. I previously set my sights on four core geomorphology journals —the Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface, Geomorphology, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, and Earth Surface Dynamics. These four discplinary journals appear most often in my cited reference list and are the core disciplinary journals for my work. This obviously excludes other journals that I rely upon (interdisciplinary journals and other disciplinary journals), but I need to start somewhere.

From the Web of Science I pulled the publication history for these four journals. Publication data for each journal (by year) is shown below:


In total for 2015, this is >700 papers published per year (just in these 4 journals). Note also that each journal generally publishes more papers every subsequent year.

Here is a plot of the cumulative papers published by all four journals:


The cumulative number of papers published by these four journals doubles every ~6 years (similar to the coastal dune literature). This exponential literature growth seems to be an observed trend (e.g., Pautasso, 2012; Bornmann and Mutz, 2015).

Also, just for fun, here are the yearly publication numbers for two the length restricted journals that I have data for (Geology and GRL) from my previous post. (Wow, GRL publishes a lot of papers every year):


I bet the sharp decline in published papers per year ~2006/2007 is related to editorials by Famiglietti (2007) and Calais et al. (2010), who both remark that GRL has “steadily increasing the number of manu­scripts that are returned without review” (i.e., desk rejections; quote from Famiglietti (2007))


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