I'm a bit behind with things I'm afraid, but since I hinted about news of UKIRT's productivity almost two months ago it's only right I post the final result. It turns out that the number of publications in 2010 that use UKIRT data has beaten our previous record. In fact it's fair to say the record has been smashed.
Our previous record was 84 peer-reviewed publications which occurred in 1997 and was then repeated in 2009 when UKIDSS really got going. Last year (2010) there were 118 papers. Given all the cutbacks UKIRT has suffered over the last few years I think this is quite a remarkable result.
Counting publications to measure observatory productivity may not be the best method but it is what most other observatories do so does enable us to measure productivity relative to other observatories (and UKIRT has always done very well in this respect). Peter Coles wrote an interesting piece about using publications very recently although it was aimed more at UKIDSS than UKIRT (UKIRT and UKIDSS do not use the same methodology for counting papers although the majority of UKIDSS papers end up being counted as UKIRT publications).
In any case, the huge increase in publications demonstrates that UKIRT is more productive than ever and something all of those that have worked at the telescope over the years should be very proud of.