The accompanying list presents the 10 articles of 1986 that were most cited during 1986 and 1987. The citations, given in brackets at the end of each reference, were recorded from the 3,160 journals scanned for the Institute for Scientific Information’s Science Citation Index.
While there is some advantage held by early 1986 papers, which had more time to accumulate citations over these two years than those that appeared late in the year, the first ranking article was published in September. Bednorz and Muller’s paper, describing the breakthrough experiment in superconductivity, collected more than twice as many citations as the second-ranking article (see The Scientist, 16 May 1988, p. 15).
String theory (as well as the journal Nuclear Physics B) stands out in the list—in three of the 10 papers.
Among the remaining papers, representing active specialty areas of biochemistry, immunology, and genetics, there are few surprises; rather, they confirm...