It takes time: A remarkable example of delayed recognition



The way in which scientific publications are picked up by the research community can vary. Some articles become instantly cited, whereas others go unnoticed for some time before they are discovered or rediscovered. Papers with delayed recognition have also been labeled “sleeping beauties.” I briefly discuss an extreme case of a sleeping beauty. Peirce's short note in Science in 1884 shows a remarkable increase in citations since around 2000. The note received less than 1 citation per year in the decades prior to 2000, 3.5 citations per year in the 2000s, and 10.4 in the 2010s. This increase was seen in several domains, most notably meteorology, medical prediction research, and economics. The paper outlines formulas to evaluate a binary prediction system for a binary outcome. This citation increase in various domains may be attributed to a widespread, growing research focus on mathematical prediction systems and the evaluation thereof. Several recently suggested evaluation measures essentially reinvented or extended Peirce's 120-year-old ideas.