Last time we looked at a list of a single year’s most-cited papers (The Scientist, June 27, 1988, page 19), the top 10 represented genetics, biochemistry, immunology, superconductivity, theoretical physics, and clinical medicine—and they were published in a variety of journals. That was for the year 1986. For the year 1987, however, one field and one journal dominated the top 10: Superconductivity and Physical Review Letters.
The accompanying table lists the papers published in 1987 that were most cited in 1987 and 1988, the affiliations of the authors, and the citation count for each to November 1988.
The most cited 1987 paper, with over 1,600 cites, collected nearly three times as many citations as the most cited 1986 paper (Bednorz and Miller’s report of superconductivity in the Ba-La-Cu-O system, Zeitschrift für Physik B, 64 (2), 189-93, September), which accumulated 664 citations during the years 1986 and...