A scientometric study of communication and growth of a new development of physics, resonance ionization spectroscopy, has
been made. Formal (journal publications) and informal (talks, lecures) communication patterns have been studied. Self citation
dominates in early publications, but drops off as the field expands. Informal communication leads formal only by about a year
in time, but is much larger in number.
How shall we define the quality of a published piece of research or are we able to find a less emphatic way to assess quality? The paper tries to answer these questions and comes to the conclusion that citation analysis might be refined to prove an objective index of importance. On the basis of citation analysis an attempt is made to find research papers published in the Journal of Radioanalytical Chemistry 1968–1981 which had a remarkable impact on the subfield of radioanalytical chemistry.