Michael Strauss (Princeton) just reported some really impressive statistics for SDSS. There are now over 4000 refereed papers with “SDSS” or “Sloan Survey” in their abstract or title.

To astronomical accuracy, that’s about ** one paper per day since the telescope saw first light in 1998 **. These papers have been cited over 150,000 times (154,997, to be precise). The York et al. (2000) technical paper describing the SDSS has over 3000 citations itself.

The h-index of the survey is 159: that is, there are 159 papers with 159 or more citations (and 316 papers with more than 100 citations). The g-index is 288; i.e., the average number of citations of the 288 most cited papers is 288. Thus far in 2011, there are 486 papers published, and the year is not even complete.

To compare with some other major facilities:

* IRAS (launched in 1983) has 5822 papers, 187,377 citations, and h=158

* WMAP (launched in 2001) has 1855 papers, 93,097 citations, and h=123

* HST (launched in 1990) has 9460 papers, 329,920 citations, and h=190

Here is the ADS query that were used for the SDSS statistics

These queries are not exact; there are no doubt important papers that are missed, and some other papers that are included that are not really proper matches; for example, one of the most highly cited “SDSS” papers is the Becker et al. (1995) paper, describing the FIRST survey, which only makes reference to the SDSS footprint on the sky.