Knowledge production, or science results, are the outcome of several factors, such as research policies, governance, infrastructure, human resources, and cooperation agreements. This paper focuses on the evolution of a scholarly discipline in the Italian higher education context as seen through the lens of research activity output in terms of publications and citations, as assessed according to the recent reforms. The quantitative analysis is circumscribed to high quality journals, or “Classe A” journals, defined by ANVUR (the Italian Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes) as proxies of research excellence. The analyses of publication trends suggest that the reforms introduced in the Italian university system, which emphasize the significance of publications on impact factor journals, have modified the attitude of scholars. In the period taken into consideration, the evidence collected suggests that the increase in the quantity of research output is unquestionable. As far as the quality of research output is concerned, the debate is still open.