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I'm interesting of how scientific research covers a specific topic in a time. Scientific field: biology, cellulosic ethanol production

Like:

topic A 1940 - 2 publications (maybe with details like: 1 patent, one publication with title "X" in magazin "Y") 1941 - 5 publications ... 2018 - n publications

What are the sources for such research?

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    $\begingroup$ This sounds like a multi-decade long task involving tens of thousands of hours of tedious searching and cataloging (and being able to read a dozen or more languages would help immensely), with a relatively infinitesimal reward at the end. At this time (2018), I suspect it would be quicker to simply wait two or three decades for advanced AI systems to be capable of doing this for a specified topic. And FYI, I speak as someone who has been working for 30+ years on something similar for several mathematical topics . . . $\endgroup$ – Dave L Renfro Jul 21 '18 at 15:08
  • $\begingroup$ i thought, there is anywhere a database, where one could search for a keyword, say, in title, abstract and keywords, and get the year-ordered list of search results... $\endgroup$ – Evgeniy Jul 22 '18 at 19:26
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    $\begingroup$ Of course there are databases, and it is not that difficult (albeit tedious) to run ~80 queries. Often though you run into issues with (i) terminology changing with time, and (ii) what you think should be related papers not being caught up in the particular terms of your search. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Jul 23 '18 at 13:10
  • $\begingroup$ You can run search queries against Google's books (and I believe various periodicals) using their public APIs. But perhaps you should consider that any number of authors who write 'history of science' books spend many years doing this type of research and discovery before being able to publish. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Jul 23 '18 at 13:31
  • $\begingroup$ @CarlWitthoft :) i hoped so, that this task shouldn't be an unique one. My question was in the direction, what are usual hints to get this done. About terminology: i've researched some keywords and their synonyms and queried their search volumes+search trends to get clear, what the one is searching for, if interesting in the subj. So i think i know my keywords. $\endgroup$ – Evgeniy Jul 23 '18 at 15:05

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