The paper will analyze over 50 years of science publications by British Antarctic Survey to establish the pattern of annual publications, changes in disciplinary output and how these might be related to changing fashions in science and management objectives within the UK. To set the British output in a global context an analysis of ISI Web of Science for publications identified by search terms ‘Antarctic*’, ‘subantarctic*’ and ‘southern ocean’ was undertaken. Comparisons between countries show major differences in total output, mean citation numbers and the calculated Hirsch-index. Subject rankings and percentage output comparisons demonstrate the differences between British Antarctic science and the general trends for all Antarctic countries. Examination of the papers with over 400 citations shows the predominance of ozone as a subject, the USA as the major research country and, for these papers, a surprising lack of international authorship.