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Total synthesis is still strong – according to a title search

Posted by naturalproductman on July 10, 2015

There’s so much talk out there about how total synthesis is a dying field, and I guess I kind of understand the point. However, I was curious about this so I did a title search of journal articles on pubmed to see what this trend looks like. It seems that since 2005 with 408 articles published, the number of journal articles with the words “total synthesis” in the title shot up from 350 in 2004, and in 1999 there were 120 articles – a jump from 66 articles in 1998. So about the “dying field” statement, I don’t know if it’s just propaganda or if it is indeed a true statement – the numbers seem to indicate that people are still doing research in the field. From a synthetic chemist’s perspective, I feel that we are only limited by our own creativity (and funding).

* *So maybe the proper statement should be that the popularity of total synthesis was exponentially growing since the 1990s but now the number is just maxing out at about 500 “total synthesis” articles published per year with no decline in interest. I am correlating interest in total synthesis with the number of published “total synthesis” articles.

(Below is graph:  number of journal articles vs. year up to July 2015)

***It didn’t occur to me that a similar plot has been done but with JACS papers only.

totalsynthesistitlesJOURNALARTICLES 07.10.2015

The list:

pubmed – total synthesis[Title/Abstract]
year count
2015 294
2014 509
2013 513
2012 502
2011 519
2010 484
2009 478
2008 449
2007 393
2006 421
2005 408
2004 350
2003 347
2002 319
2001 273
2000 221
1999 120
1998 66
1997 62
1996 71
1995 26
1994 39
1993 24
1992 39
1991 27
1990 27
1989 27
1988 22
1987 33
1986 31
1985 21
1984 22
1983 20
1982 13
1981 21
1980 26
1979 24
1978 14
1977 55
1976 57
1975 51
1974 26
1973 41
1972 51
1971 38
1970 36
1969 42
1968 53
1967 28
1966 27
1965 22
1964 8
1963 6
1962 4
1961 2
1960 2
1959 1
1958 1
1957 1
1955 2
1954 1
1953 3
1952 1
1950 1
1949 1
1948 2
1947 2

**I decided to do a similar plot but by searching in Scifinder to see if I get any different numbers, and just like in the pubmed search, the numbers shoot up from the 1990s.

Scifinder graph:

Scifinder07.11.2015

Scifinder results (list form):

Sample Analysis – Publication Year Jul 11, 2015
Selected terms of 91 Sorted by Year
Analysis Value Count
1897 1
1900 2
1901 2
1906 1
1909 2
1911 1
1914 1
1917 1
1919 1
1925 2
1931 1
1933 1
1934 2
1935 3
1937 2
1938 1
1939 5
1940 4
1941 3
1942 2
1944 5
1945 7
1947 2
1948 5
1949 4
1950 13
1951 12
1952 10
1953 13
1954 14
1955 12
1956 27
1957 24
1958 14
1959 17
1960 30
1961 36
1962 36
1963 49
1964 38
1965 55
1966 64
1967 78
1968 126
1969 128
1970 115
1971 148
1972 137
1973 147
1974 114
1975 148
1976 151
1977 172
1978 162
1979 210
1980 207
1981 236
1982 230
1983 239
1984 247
1985 271
1986 292
1987 284
1988 268
1989 291
1990 288
1991 268
1992 261
1993 325
1994 337
1995 315
1996 392
1997 374
1998 419
1999 449
2000 529
2001 566
2002 630
2003 756
2004 681
2005 734
2006 783
2007 772
2008 796
2009 864
2010 894
2011 813
2012 861
2013 807
2014 768
2015 392
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