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Like all observatories, we routinely track the number of published scientific papers each year based on UKIRT data. This metric is a measure of the observatory’s productivity. The specific criteria we adopt for this determination are listed here.
In 2010, UKIRT set a new record with 118 publications in the scientific literature. This exceeds the previous record of 84, set in 1997 and repeated in 2009, by a very wide margin. The primary reason for the rapid increase in productivity is the UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey (UKIDSS), which now takes up the lion’s share of UK time on UKIRT. Observations for UKIDSS commenced in 2005 and the publication of scientific results has been accelerating since the first paper appeared in 2007, as indicated in the figure below.