On average, the 20 highest performing authors in Physics and Astronomy have more than 1200 coauthors per article.
The number of authors per article in the subject area Physics and Astronomy is 1268 on average with a maximum of 5154 authors in one paper (ATLAS Collaboration et al., 2015). The mean number of coauthors is increasing by 58 per year in the respective time period (Figure 1). The articles in this analysis (n = 2135) were cited 27 times on average.
Figure 1: Boxplot of the number of authors per paper in the subject area Physics and Astronomy. The box denotes 25–75% of the values with the median (bold line) in it. The small circles are outliers. The yellow line shows a linear model of the mean number of authors per article with a confidence interval of 0.95 shown in light grey. Data source: Scopus. CC BY 4.0 Schmidt, Fecher, Kobsda.
The results of the Advanced search in Scopus were restricted by an algorithm with
- a time period of publishing (2010 to 2016)
- the document types (articles or reviews),
- and a quantitative limitation regarding the publication output (articles by the 20 highest performing authors with the most Scopus listed articles in every subject area).
For details and code see Schmidt et al. 2017.