I would like to know if there is a serious study about how the disruption caused by COVID-19 affected the publication figures of some mathematics journals during 2020 and 2021.

Was a downward trend documented somewhere? I mean, in comparison with the figures in 2018-2019 or another biennia prior to the ghastly 2020-2021.

Please, forgive me if you find the implicit premise in this post altogether wrong.

  • 7
    Given the notoriously long review times for (pure) math, I'm not sure the time is right yet to get hard data. Anecdotally, I knew a variety of (non-math) staff who took advantage of working from home to finish up papers, boosting their paper output in 2020-2021.
    – Jon Custer
    Oct 26, 2023 at 21:02
  • 1
    I don't know about math in particular, but the effects of the pandemic are almost certainly dwarfed by trends in publishing like the continued growth of OA publishers and their special issues, as well as academic systems that encourage quantity of over quality as a "quantitative" measure of research output. Possibly submissions to certain journals would be more informative than numbers of papers published, but those data wouldn't be as accessible.
    – Bryan Krause
    Oct 26, 2023 at 22:23
  • 2
    At least over the short term, and counting only reputable journals, the number of pages published is basically constant, because editors tend to accept enough papers to fulfill their quota of pages and no more. So, if more research gets done, that doesn't result in more published papers, but rather in more research that ends up unpublished. Oct 26, 2023 at 23:42
  • 4
    academia.stackexchange.com/questions/145583/… Related, although the only answer there gives arXiv statistics as a whole.
    – Allure
    Oct 27, 2023 at 1:01
  • 3
    Arxiv has some statistics: info.arxiv.org/about/reports/submission_category_by_year.html There is no way to deeplink this, but if you select only math and extend the timeline, it looks to me that there is stagnation after around 2020, compared to growth before that. But the data is very noisy.
    – mlk
    Oct 27, 2023 at 17:37


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