Is a question such as "which current fields are producing the most research?" appropriate? For Example, I am primarily interested in comparing the different 'amounts' of research (publications?) being done, for example, in bio-medical research vs civil engineering. I am curious in this question because it seems that certain industries/research fields (for example, computer science) are much more active than other industries. Is this an appropriate question for SE.Academia, and is there a way to quantify the amount of research being done for a given field of study? Thanks.

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    I don't personally find the question too interesting, but it seems on topic based on some other questions I've seen here. My one suggestion would be to try to make it as answerable a question as possible (e.g., define your measure, counting number of publications in a field, and possibly what you mean by field---or counting memberships in professional societies, which I think should be doable).
    – Kimball
    Jun 23 '16 at 6:36
  • Have a look at this answer from Federico Poloni: academia.stackexchange.com/a/69716/20058
    – Massimo Ortolano Mod
    Jun 23 '16 at 6:37
  • There are tools available on your favorite publication database. But, how relevant, really, is such a question? Yes, different industries/sectors/whatnot have different amounts of research. There are good economic (and political) reasons for that. But, the path to getting the data is very straightforward. Start with you nearest research librarian...
    – Jon Custer
    Jun 24 '16 at 15:28

I believe that this would be an appropriate question to ask (with a little bit of refinement):

Is there a way to quantify the amount of research being done for a given field of study?

The answer, of course, may not be too useful. The answer is essentially: yes, lots of them, and none of them are any good. It's much like the question of how to compare the research productivity of individuals, which also has no single good answer, and which is why many researchers live under a tyranny of "Impact Factor."

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