Author-team diversity and the impact of scientific publications: Evidence from physics research at a national science lab

Charles C. Hinnant, Besiki Stvilia, Shuheng Wu, Adam Worrall, Gary Burnett, Kathleen Burnett, Michelle M. Kazmer, Paul F. Marty
2012 Library & Information Science Research  
In the second half of the twentieth century, scientific research in physics, chemistry, and engineering began to focus on the use of large government funded laboratories. This shift toward so-called big science also brought about a concomitant change in scientific work itself, with a sustained trend toward the use of highly specialized scientific teams, elevating the role of team characteristics on scientific outputs. The actual impact of scientific knowledge is commonly measured by how often
more » ... erreviewed publications are, in turn, cited by other researchers. This study examines how characteristics such as author team seniority, affiliation diversity, and size affect the overall impact of team publications. Citation information and author demographics were examined for 123 articles published in Physical Review Letters from 2004 to 2006 by 476 scientists who used the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory's facilities. Correlation analysis indicated that author teams which were more multiinstitutional and had homogeneous seniority tended to have more senior scientists. In addition, the analysis suggests that more mixed seniority author teams were likely to be less institutionally dispersed. Quantile regression was used to examine the relationships between author team characteristics and publication impact. The analysis indicated that weighted average seniority and average seniority both had a negative relationship with the number of citations the publication received. Furthermore, the analysis also showed a positive relationship between first author seniority and the number of citations, and a negative relationship between the number of authors and the number of citations.
doi:10.1016/j.lisr.2012.03.001 fatcat:53jurhnxsbc3di4qs6wqvekkla