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?

  • 9
    My money is on the bible or something similar. Commented Feb 1, 2015 at 10:56
  • 1
    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
    Commented Feb 1, 2015 at 22:08

1 Answer 1


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).

  • 1
    Also of note - the second paper on the list (213k citations) has just a single author...
    – Floris
    Commented Feb 1, 2015 at 15:14
  • 1
    @Floris: and it mentions cleavage Commented Feb 1, 2015 at 21:23

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .