Thomson Reuter’s website Sciencewatch.com has a special section out on citation and paper data for the last ten years of quantum computing. More below the fold.
The first interesting thing that everyone wants to know about such list is, of course, “who’s number 1?!?” Well the most cited paper over the last 10 years according to this survey was “A scheme for efficient quantum computation with linear optics” by Knill, Laflamme, and Milburn (Nature, 409, 46-52 (2001)). Not too surprising given that this paper established a completely new method for building a quantum computer and, equally important, was clearly the first word in this subject area, not the last. Indeed if you look down the list of top 20 papers over there is a common theme: novel methods for building a quantum computer (linear optics, one-way QC, a proposal for QC with molecular magnets, topological QC, teleportation of gates are the top five papers). This is probably because such methods are accessible across a wide swath of physics and as such can be cited by entire fields. The cynic in me would add the words “who want to grab some quantum computing funding” to the last sentence, but I grumpily digress.
The data on paper and citation data for countries is kind of interesting, though in line with what I’d expect. Here one sees that over the last ten years, the US has gotten only (at most) 31 percent of citations and produced only (at most) 24 percent of all papers. Poor China gets rammed for have a ton of papers, but only a small number of citations, though I bet the database used in the survey wouldn’t actually catch the Chinese literature well.
Another interest fact is that Nature has published twice as many quantum articles as Science…something you might consider next time you submit a paper to one of the glossies. Indeed Science has one article in the top 20 over the last ten years, while Nature does exceptionally well.
And yes this is all a lot of navel gazing. But it is Thursday afternoon.