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Spitzer Publication Statistics

Scire, E. and Rebull, Luisa and Laine, Seppo (2022) Spitzer Publication Statistics. Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 134 (1035). Art. No. 055001. ISSN 1538-3873. doi:10.1088/1538-3873/ac4959.

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We present statistics on the number of refereed astronomy journal articles that used data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope through the end of the calendar year 2020. We discuss the various types of science programs and science categories that were used to collect data during the mission and discuss how operational changes brought on by the depletion of cryogen in 2009 May, including the resulting budget cuts, impacted the publication rate. The post-cryogenic (warm) mission produced fewer papers than the cryogenic mission, but the percentage of the exposure time published did not appreciably change between the warm and cryogenic missions. This was mostly because in the warm mission the length of observations increased, so that each warm paper on average uses more data than the cryogenic papers. We also discuss the speed of publication, archival usage, and the tremendous efficacy of the Legacy and Exploration Science programs (large, coherent investigations), including the value of having well-advertised enhanced data products hosted in centralized archives. We also identify the observations that have been published the largest number of times, and sort them by a variety of metrics (including program type, instrument used, and observation length). Data that have the highest reuse rates in publications were taken early in the Spitzer mission, or belong to one of the large surveys (large either in number of objects, in number of hours observed, or in area covered on the sky). We also assess how often authors have cited the Spitzer fundamental papers or have correctly referenced the Spitzer data they used, finding that as many as 40% of papers have failed to cite the papers, and 15% have made it impossible to identify the data they used.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Scire, E.0000-0003-1468-5357
Rebull, Luisa0000-0001-6381-515X
Laine, Seppo0000-0003-1250-8314
Additional Information:© 2022. The Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Received 2021 August 26; accepted 2022 January 7; published 2022 May 18. Special thanks to people who have helped with this project throughout the mission: Ben Chan, Jessica Krick, Aomawa Shields, Nancy Silbermann, and to the entire Spitzer Space Telescope Project. Working on Spitzer has been one of the great joys of our lives. We would also like to thank the anonymous referee whose comments improved the presentation in this paper. This work is based on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which was operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with NASA. This research has made use of NASA's Astrophysics Data System. This research has made use of the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive, which is funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and operated by the California Institute of Technology. Ironically, since this paper does not use data taken during science observations as a primary source, it would not be included in the paper counts referenced above.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:Infrared observatories; Observatories; Space telescopes; Surveys; Astronomical reference materials; Astronomy databases
Issue or Number:1035
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Infrared observatories (791); Observatories (1147); Space telescopes (1547); Surveys (1671); Astronomical reference materials (90); Astronomy databases (83)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220428-212246323
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Official Citation:E. Scire et al 2022 PASP 134 055001
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:114514
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:29 Apr 2022 16:04
Last Modified:20 May 2022 19:51

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