One of the most common images I see during science presentations is the frequency of publications within a particular field over time. It’s a great way to show the growth of the field while attempting to validate the worthiness of the research that follows. As far as I can tell, most people manually assemble this data with sequential searches on Google Scholar or Web of Science. This seemed like a straightforward opportunity for automation, so I made a little website that does just that. It takes a Google Scholar search query and a range of years and plots the number of results over time.
Obviously since we’re plotting the number of search results this doesn’t necessarily match the actual number of relevant publications. It’s really just meant to provide a broad overview of the growth (or decline) or a field of study. Once the results are gathered, the range of years graphed can easily be changed using the drop-down menus. The raw data is also available for export into your favorite visualization program.
Check it out: Scholar Plotr