What Telescopes Do Canadians Use?

By/par Dennis Crabtree (NRC Herzberg)
(Cassiopeia – Summer/été 2017)

I maintain a database of publications based on data obtained from a large number of telescopes. The database contains the basic publication information (journal, year, volume, page), as well as other information retrieved from NASA ADS. This includes the unique bibliographic identifier – the bibcode.

ADS’s new Bumblebee interface allows for a search of the full text of the article but the feature I make use of for this study is the ability to search the affiliation field. By searching for papers that include “Canada”, I can select papers with at least one author based at a Canadian institution, i.e., the Canadian papers.

Once I have the list of Canadian papers, including the bibcode, I correlate the list of Canadian papers with the list of observatory papers. This identifies the Canadian papers based on data from each of the telescopes.

Figure 1 below shows both the number of Canadian papers for each telescope for the period 2011 – 2015, and the percentage of that telescope’s papers that are Canadian. For example, there were 268 Canadian CFHT papers during this period, which is approximately 40% of the papers from CFHT. (A large number of papers based on CFHT data use archival data so one would not expect the percentage of Canadian papers to necessarily match our percentage of CFHT).

Figure 1 The number of Canadian papers based on data from various telescopes for the period 2011-2015 as well as the percentage of each telescope’s papers that are Canadian. While Canada provides direct support for ALMA, CFHT and Gemini, Canadians utilize data from many more telescopes via international collaborations.

Figure 1 The number of Canadian papers based on data from various telescopes for the period 2011-2015 as well as the percentage of each telescope’s papers that are Canadian. While Canada provides direct support for ALMA, CFHT and Gemini, Canadians utilize data from many more telescopes via international collaborations.

Figure 2 compares the average impact per paper for papers that have at least one Canadian author with that of all papers from each telescope. For almost all of the telescopes included, Canadian papers have higher impact per paper than the average paper from the same telescope. The reason for this remarkable result is again that Canadians are great collaborators. The average number of authors on Canadian papers is larger than the average number of authors on all papers for each telescope. Since there is a strong correlation of impact with the number of authors on a paper, it is not surprising that Canadian papers have higher impact.

Figure 2 The average impact per paper for Canadian papers on each telescope compared to the impact per paper for all papers.

Figure 2 The average impact per paper for Canadian papers on each telescope compared to the impact per paper for all papers.

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