All of us have heard this before: "publishing a journal paper in area X is more difficult or takes more time than area Y". This is vague, and sometimes people working in area Y may find this kind of comparison offensive, but the question is not a matter of how important, useful, deep, or difficult an area is; rather, it is precisely about the difficulty of the production process. For example, some areas have been studied for a long time, and there is nothing much one could be hopeful to solve in them, or what is left to explore is extremely difficult. My specific question is whether there has been any statistical study for this that compares the rate of production in different fields of contemporary mathematics. I wonder if AMS, MAA, or NSF have done anything in this respect.
closed as off topic by Andrés E. Caicedo, Igor Rivin, Andy Putman, Franz Lemmermeyer, Ryan Budney May 2 '11 at 7:14
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