There was recently a talk at my university of someone who wrote the most cited paper in the top journal of my field. Something like that is usually easy to look up for a single journal, but it made me wonder which would be the most cited paper published in any scientific journal (conference proceedings also count) until now?

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    My money is on the bible or something similar. – Marc Claesen Feb 1 '15 at 10:56
  • Raw numbers are nearly meaningless (if you are after relevance) as some field put out many times more articles than others, without actually moving forward more. As an anecdots, it's a nice measure nonetheless. – Raphael Feb 1 '15 at 22:08

Nature put out a list recently of the most cited papers in Web of Science.

At the top, with more than 300k citations, was a methods paper:

Protein measurement with the folin phenol reagent. Lowry, O. H., Rosebrough, N. J., Farr, A. L. & Randall, R. J. J. Biol. Chem. 193, 265–275 (1951).

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    Also of note - the second paper on the list (213k citations) has just a single author... – Floris Feb 1 '15 at 15:14
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    @Floris: and it mentions cleavage – RemcoGerlich Feb 1 '15 at 21:23

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