PUBLICATION TRENDS: Now, with all the new survey data, I’m planning to do a series of posts on A/D-converter performance evolution and research trends. First out is an update of the overall number-of-publications trend, which was originally discussed in one of the first post on the blog.

The graph shows the total number of ADC implementation papers per year in the sources listed here. The y-axis is logarithmic to simplify observation of exponential trends. My interpretation is that publication count follows a consistent exponential trend from 1988 and onwards. A log-fit of the data between 1988 and 2011 reveals that the number of A/D-converter papers have doubled approximately every decade since 1988, and that the annual increase is 6.8%. For anyone interested, the expression for the trend line is

If the scientific output volume follows the current trend, it projects to 225 ADC papers per year by 2020 and 433 papers in year 2030. That’s a lot of papers! Probably we’ll see a slow-down in publication volume before that, but only the future can tell us when, and to what level it will saturate. It is possible that we’re already observing a saturation towards ~120 papers/year. The paper count has not increased since 2008. On the other hand, the historical curve is not monotonic, so it could just as well be noise in the data. A similar four-year plateau is for example observed 1996-1999, without changing the overall trend.

What do you think? Are we observing a saturation of the scientific ADC output volume? Would that be good or bad? Is there a limit for how many papers the ADC community can handle per year? Share your thoughts or answer the polls.

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