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Characterizing creative scientists in nano S & T: productivity, multidisciplinarity, and network brokerage in a longitudinal perspective


  • Heinze, Thomas
  • Bauer, Gerrit


While some believe that publication and citation scores are key predictors of breakthroughs in science, others claim that people who work at the intersection of scientific communities are more likely to be familiar with selecting and synthesizing alternatives into novel ideas. This paper contributes to this controversy by presenting a longitudinal comparison of highly creative scientists with equally productive researchers. The sample of creative scientists is identified by combining information on science awards and nominations by international peers covering research accomplishments in the mid-1990s. Results suggest that it is not only the sheer quantity of publications that causes scientists to produce creative pieces of work. Rather, their ability to effectively communicate with otherwise disconnected peers and to address a broader work spectrum also enhances their chances to be widely cited and to develop novel ideas.

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  • Heinze, Thomas & Bauer, Gerrit, 2006. "Characterizing creative scientists in nano S & T: productivity, multidisciplinarity, and network brokerage in a longitudinal perspective," Discussion Papers "Innovation Systems and Policy Analysis" 11, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:fisidp:11

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Thomas Heinze & Philip Shapira & Jacqueline Senker & Stefan Kuhlmann, 2007. "Identifying creative research accomplishments: Methodology and results for nanotechnology and human genetics," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 70(1), pages 125-152, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Heinze, Thomas & Kuhlmann, Stefan, 2008. "Across institutional boundaries?: Research collaboration in German public sector nanoscience," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 888-899, June.
    2. Can Huang & Ad Notten & Nico Rasters, 2011. "Nanoscience and technology publications and patents: a review of social science studies and search strategies," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 145-172, April.
    3. repec:spr:scient:v:78:y:2009:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-007-1953-z is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:spr:scient:v:84:y:2010:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-009-0133-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Luis Antonio Orozco Castro, 2015. "Diversidad y heterogeneidad en redes de colaboración científica. Un estudio de las escuelas de administración de América Latina," Books, Universidad Externado de Colombia, Facultad de Administración de Empresas, edition 1, number 44, May.
    6. Bordons, María & Aparicio, Javier & González-Albo, Borja & Díaz-Faes, Adrián A., 2015. "The relationship between the research performance of scientists and their position in co-authorship networks in three fields," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 135-144.
    7. repec:spr:scient:v:83:y:2010:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-009-0022-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Heinze, Thomas & Shapira, Philip & Rogers, Juan D. & Senker, Jacqueline M., 2009. "Organizational and institutional influences on creativity in scientific research," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 610-623, May.
    9. repec:spr:scient:v:95:y:2013:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-012-0848-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Julia Melkers & Fang Xiao, 2012. "Boundary-spanning in emerging technology research: determinants of funding success for academic scientists," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 251-270, June.
    11. José-Antonio Belso-Martínez & Manuel Expósito-Langa, 2015. "Persistence and extinction of brokerage roles in clusters: the role of status, former experiences and extra-cluster relationships," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1501, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Jan 2015.
    12. Susan Biancani & Daniel McFarland, 2013. "Social Networks Research in Higher Education," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, issue 4, pages 85-126.
    13. Chen, Chaomei & Chen, Yue & Horowitz, Mark & Hou, Haiyan & Liu, Zeyuan & Pellegrino, Donald, 2009. "Towards an explanatory and computational theory of scientific discovery," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 191-209.
    14. Barry Bozeman & Daniel Fay & Catherine Slade, 2013. "Research collaboration in universities and academic entrepreneurship: the-state-of-the-art," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 1-67, February.
    15. Bozeman, Barry & Gaughan, Monica, 2011. "How do men and women differ in research collaborations? An analysis of the collaborative motives and strategies of academic researchers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 1393-1402.
    16. José Antonio Belso-Martínez & Manuel Expósito-Langa & Francisco Mas-Verdú & F. Xavier Molina-Morales, 2017. "Dynamics of Brokerage Positions in Clusters: Evidence from the Spanish Foodstuffs Industry," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(2), pages 1-18, February.

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