Just a quick note, I’ve been playing around with some ways to track publication counts over a number of different research areas within nutritional science to attempt to quantify trends. What I have so far is posted here: nutsci.org/nutrition-research-trends/
- Number of papers so far in 2012 for 50 random terms compared to 2011 on the same day (uses the current date). With this we can see the change in % difference between the two years each day (it refreshes daily).
- This one is a publicly editable spreadsheet that is the same setup as (1) but anyone can enter their own search terms.
- The same idea as (2) but searchable by author.
- The last uses the same 50 random terms as (1) and calculates the slope and R^2 values of the linear regression of the paper counts over 6 years (2005-2011).
This is very much in the early stages, but hopefully it will become more useful in the future. Let me know if you have any requests/ideas in the comments here or on that page.