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The First Cut is the Deepest: Repeated Interactions of Coauthorship and Academic Productivity in Nobel Laureate Teams

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  • Ho Fai Chan
  • Ali Sina Önder
  • Benno Torgler

Abstract

Despite much in-depth investigation of factors influencing this evolution in various scientific fields, our knowledge about how efficiency or creativity is linked to the longevity of collaborative relationships remains very limited. We explore what Nobel laureates’ coauthorship patterns reveal about the nature of scientific collaborations looking at the intensity and success of scientific collaborations across fields and across laureates’ collaborative lifecycles in physics, chemistry, and physiology/medicine. We find that more collaboration with the same researcher is actually no better for advancing creativity: publications produced early in a sequence of repeated collaborations with a given coauthor tend to be published better and cited more than papers that come later in the collaboration with the same coauthor. Thus, our results indicate that scientific collaboration involves conceptual complementarities that may erode over a sequence of repeated interactions.

Suggested Citation

  • Ho Fai Chan & Ali Sina Önder & Benno Torgler, 2015. "The First Cut is the Deepest: Repeated Interactions of Coauthorship and Academic Productivity in Nobel Laureate Teams," CREMA Working Paper Series 2015-04, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  • Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2015-04
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Adams, James D. & Black, Grant C. & Clemmons, J. Roger & Stephan, Paula E., 2005. "Scientific teams and institutional collaborations: Evidence from U.S. universities, 1981-1999," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 259-285, April.
    2. Ho Fai Chan & Ali Sina Önder & Benno Torgler, 2015. "Do Nobel laureates change their patterns of collaboration following prize reception?," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 105(3), pages 2215-2235, December.
    3. Hollis, Aidan, 2001. "Co-authorship and the output of academic economists," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 503-530, September.
    4. Katz, J. Sylvan & Martin, Ben R., 1997. "What is research collaboration?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-18, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sichao Tong & Per Ahlgren, 2017. "Evolution of three Nobel Prize themes and a Nobel snub theme in chemistry: a bibliometric study with focus on international collaboration," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 112(1), pages 75-90, July.
    2. Weilong Bi & Ho Fai Chan & Benno Torgler, 2019. "Self-esteem, self-symbolizing, and academic recognition: behavioral evidence from curricula vitae," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 119(1), pages 495-525, April.
    3. Damien Besancenot & Kim Huynh & Francisco Serranito, 2015. "Co-Authorship And Individual Research Productivity In Economics: Assessing The Assortative Matching Hypothesis," Working Papers halshs-01252373, HAL.
    4. Besancenot, Damien & Huynh, Kim & Serranito, Francisco, 2017. "Co-authorship and research productivity in economics: Assessing the assortative matching hypothesis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 61-80.
    5. Ho F. Chan & Franklin G. Mixon & Benno Torgler, 2018. "Relation of early career performance and recognition to the probability of winning the Nobel Prize in economics," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 114(3), pages 1069-1086, March.
    6. Ho Fai Chan & Ali Sina Önder & Benno Torgler, 2015. "Do Nobel laureates change their patterns of collaboration following prize reception?," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 105(3), pages 2215-2235, December.
    7. R. Bjørk, 2019. "The age at which Noble Prize research is conducted," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 119(2), pages 931-939, May.
    8. Elisabeth Maria Schlagberger & Lutz Bornmann & Johann Bauer, 2016. "At what institutions did Nobel laureates do their prize-winning work? An analysis of biographical information on Nobel laureates from 1994 to 2014," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 109(2), pages 723-767, November.
    9. Damien Besancenot & Kim Huynh & Francisco Serranito, 2015. " Thou shalt not work alone ," CEPN Working Papers hal-01175758, HAL.
    10. Ali Sina Önder & Sascha Schweitzer, 2017. "Catching up or falling behind? Promising changes and persistent patterns across cohorts of economics PhDs in German-speaking countries from 1991 to 2008," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 110(3), pages 1297-1331, March.
    11. Ho Fai Chan & Franklin G. Mixon & Benno Torgler, 2019. "Fame in the sciences: a culturomics approach," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 118(2), pages 605-615, February.
    12. John P A Ioannidis & Ioana-Alina Cristea & Kevin W Boyack, 2020. "Work honored by Nobel prizes clusters heavily in a few scientific fields," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 15(7), pages 1-11, July.
    13. Juan-Carlos Valderrama-Zurián & Remedios Aguilar-Moya & Antonio Cepeda-Benito & David Melero-Fuentes & María-Ángeles Navarro-Moreno & Asunción Gandía-Balaguer & Rafael Aleixandre-Benavent, 2017. "Productivity trends and collaboration patterns: A diachronic study in the eating disorders field," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 12(8), pages 1-17, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Innovation; Scientific Collaboration; Team Formation; Nobel Laureates;

    JEL classification:

    • D20 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - General
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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