Time out of mind: “Subben’s checklist” revisited – A partial description of the development of quantitative OR papers over a period of 25 years
Magazine article, 2017

This short paper aims to investigate some of the historical developments of a classic, well-cited and highly esteemed scientific journal in the domain of quantitative operations research – namely the INFORMS journal Operations Research, over a period of 25 years. As such this paper, and the journal in question, represents an opportunity to analyze – also in more generality – how research production has evolved, and evolves, over time. Among the developments over time that we think we can trace are that (a) the historical overviews (or, literature surveys) in the articles, as well as the list of references, somewhat counter-intuitively shrink over time, while (b) the motivating and modelling parts grow. We have also analysed the articles’ utilization of “buzz words” representing the constitutive parts of a journal paper, based on “Subben’s checklist” (Larsson & Patriksson, 2014; 2016), and conclude through a citation study using a collection of either highly or little cited papers that there is a quite strong positive correlation between a journal paper being highly cited and it utilizing this checklist.


Michael Patriksson

Chalmers, Mathematical Sciences

University of Gothenburg

Johanna Pejlare

Chalmers, Mathematical Sciences

University of Gothenburg

Torbjörn Larsson


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