The cover pages of the 748 articles read and reviewed are shown in order from most to least cited. From top to bottom, from left to right, in image sets of 10 covers per GIF frame. Researched, read, reviewed, and designed by Elise Hunchuck in Toronto, CA, Jakarta, IN, and Berlin, DE (12.2016-02.2017).
Reading the AnthropoceneConsidering [the] still growing impacts of human
activities on earth and atmosphere,
and at all, including global, scales, it
seems to us more than appropriate to
emphasize the central role of mankind
in geology and ecology by proposing to
use the term “anthropocene” for the current
geological epoch. The impacts of
current human activities will continue
over long periods.
––Paul J. Crutzen & Eugene F. Stoermer
In the fall of 2016, Elise Hunchuck was asked by a design research office to read and review the 25 most-cited articles on (or addressing) the Anthropocene in relation to its etymological concern with anthropos. A counter offer was made: instead of reading and reviewing the 25 most cited – an arbitrary selection by the office – she would, instead, review and read every article ever published on the Anthropocene as cited in the Web of Science, the largest accessible citation database, which has indexing coverage from the year 1900 to the present from over 50,000 scholarly books, 12,000 journals, and 160,000 conference proceedings.
At the time of the data search and and document download (December 2016), the Anthropocene had been cited 12,407 times in indexed articles, with 1,299 articles having been written on the Anthropocene. Of those, 748 had been cited in 9,536 other articles. Intrigued by her own findings, Elise will carry out further research on the literature of the Anthropocene in 2018.
For a numerical breakdown  of the Web of Science search:
All years (1900-2016)
Search language to use:
Result total (anthropocene):
Sum of the times cited:
Average citations per item:
Project Dates: December 2016 – February 2017 in collaboration with an exact office (Jakarta, IN).
1. See Paul J. Crutzen and Eugene F. Stoermer’s “The Anthropocene” in
The International Geosphere–Biosphere Programme (IGBP): A Study of Global Change of the International Council for Science (ICSU)’s Newsletter No. 41, May 2000, pp. 17-18.
2. For examples of scholars and researchers already addressing this question (explicity or otherwise), please see Donna Haraway, Andreas Malm, Zoe Todd, Alla Ivanchikova, Gisli Palsson, Sverker Sörlin, John Marks, Bernard Avril, Carole Crumley, Heide Hackmann, Poul Holm, John Ingram, Alan Kirman, Rifka Weehuizen, and many others.
3. Web of Science is (now) operated by Clarivate Analytics.
4. On the numbers presented by Web of Science (directly from their website):
Sum of the times cited: This field displays the total number of citations (cited references) to all of the items found in the results set. This is the sum of the Total column, which displays the total number of citing articles for all years in the Citation Report table.
h-index: This field displays the h-index count and is based on a list of publications ranked in descending order by the Times Cited count.
Calculating the h-index Value: The h-index factor is based on the depth of years of your product subscription and your selected timespan. Items that do not appear on the Results page will not be factored into the calculation. If your subscription depth is 10 years, then the h-index value is based on this depth even though a particular author may have published articles more than 10 years ago. Moreover, the calculation only includes items in your product - books and articles in non-covered journals are not included.
The h-index was developed by J.E. Hirsch and published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 102 (46): United States of America 102 (46): 16569-16572, November 15 2005.
The cover pages of the 748 articles read and reviewed are shown in order from most to least cited. From top to bottom, from left to right. The 14 blank pages in-between show those articles not available electronically. Researched, read, reviewed, and designed by Elise Hunchuck in Toronto, CA, Jakarta, IN, and Berlin, DE (12.2016-02.2017).