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Multinational teams and diseconomies of scale in collaborative research.

Hsiehchen D, Espinoza M, Hsieh A - Sci Adv (2015)

Bottom Line: We also examined citation outcomes of research teams and confirmed the accumulative benefits of having additional authors and unique countries involved.However, when per capita citation rates were analyzed to disambiguate the effects of authors and countries, decreasing returns in citations were noted with increasing authors among large research teams.In contrast, an increasing number of unique countries had a persistent additive citation effect.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Mount Auburn Hospital, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.

ABSTRACT
Collaborative research has become the mainstay in knowledge production across many domains of science and is widely promoted as a means of cultivating research quality, enhanced resource utilization, and high impact. An accurate appraisal of the value of collaborative research efforts is necessary to inform current funding and research policies. We reveal contemporary trends in collaborative research spanning multiple subject fields, with a particular focus on interactions between nations. We also examined citation outcomes of research teams and confirmed the accumulative benefits of having additional authors and unique countries involved. However, when per capita citation rates were analyzed to disambiguate the effects of authors and countries, decreasing returns in citations were noted with increasing authors among large research teams. In contrast, an increasing number of unique countries had a persistent additive citation effect. We also assessed the placement of foreign authors relative to the first author in paper bylines of biomedical research articles, which demonstrated a significant citation advantage of having an international presence in the second-to-last author position, possibly occupied by foreign primary co-investigators. Our analyses highlight the evolution and functional impact of team dynamics in research and suggest empirical strategies to evaluate team science.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Increased citations are associated with multicountry collaborations.(A and B) The probability of not being cited is decreased in collaborative papers compared to singular-nation papers, and this was conserved across subject areas (A) and time (B). (C and D) The increased probability of being highly cited (being in the top percent of all articles published in a given year by citations) was also conserved across subject areas (C) and time (D). All data were found to be significant (P < 0.001) using the χ2 test. (E) The citation advantage ratio, defined as the mean citation of multinational papers divided by the mean citation of singular-nation papers, was calculated for the indicated years. Citations of multicountry and singular-nation papers were significantly different (P < 0.05) for all comparisons except for years 1973 and 1982 in the arts discipline. ns, not significant.
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Figure 2: Increased citations are associated with multicountry collaborations.(A and B) The probability of not being cited is decreased in collaborative papers compared to singular-nation papers, and this was conserved across subject areas (A) and time (B). (C and D) The increased probability of being highly cited (being in the top percent of all articles published in a given year by citations) was also conserved across subject areas (C) and time (D). All data were found to be significant (P < 0.001) using the χ2 test. (E) The citation advantage ratio, defined as the mean citation of multinational papers divided by the mean citation of singular-nation papers, was calculated for the indicated years. Citations of multicountry and singular-nation papers were significantly different (P < 0.05) for all comparisons except for years 1973 and 1982 in the arts discipline. ns, not significant.

Mentions: We next sought to compare the citation impact of papers involving international authors and papers exclusively involving domestic authors. Across all disciplines and conserved over time, a multinational presence was coupled with a decreased probability of not being cited and an increased probability of being among the most cited papers (Fig. 2, A to D). Differences in the probability of not being cited or being highly cited were not different over time. Congruent with this finding, the ratio of citations garnered by international collaborations versus domestic collaborations was always greater than 1 but largely static over the last few decades (Fig. 2E).


Multinational teams and diseconomies of scale in collaborative research.

Hsiehchen D, Espinoza M, Hsieh A - Sci Adv (2015)

Increased citations are associated with multicountry collaborations.(A and B) The probability of not being cited is decreased in collaborative papers compared to singular-nation papers, and this was conserved across subject areas (A) and time (B). (C and D) The increased probability of being highly cited (being in the top percent of all articles published in a given year by citations) was also conserved across subject areas (C) and time (D). All data were found to be significant (P < 0.001) using the χ2 test. (E) The citation advantage ratio, defined as the mean citation of multinational papers divided by the mean citation of singular-nation papers, was calculated for the indicated years. Citations of multicountry and singular-nation papers were significantly different (P < 0.05) for all comparisons except for years 1973 and 1982 in the arts discipline. ns, not significant.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4643764&req=5

Figure 2: Increased citations are associated with multicountry collaborations.(A and B) The probability of not being cited is decreased in collaborative papers compared to singular-nation papers, and this was conserved across subject areas (A) and time (B). (C and D) The increased probability of being highly cited (being in the top percent of all articles published in a given year by citations) was also conserved across subject areas (C) and time (D). All data were found to be significant (P < 0.001) using the χ2 test. (E) The citation advantage ratio, defined as the mean citation of multinational papers divided by the mean citation of singular-nation papers, was calculated for the indicated years. Citations of multicountry and singular-nation papers were significantly different (P < 0.05) for all comparisons except for years 1973 and 1982 in the arts discipline. ns, not significant.
Mentions: We next sought to compare the citation impact of papers involving international authors and papers exclusively involving domestic authors. Across all disciplines and conserved over time, a multinational presence was coupled with a decreased probability of not being cited and an increased probability of being among the most cited papers (Fig. 2, A to D). Differences in the probability of not being cited or being highly cited were not different over time. Congruent with this finding, the ratio of citations garnered by international collaborations versus domestic collaborations was always greater than 1 but largely static over the last few decades (Fig. 2E).

Bottom Line: We also examined citation outcomes of research teams and confirmed the accumulative benefits of having additional authors and unique countries involved.However, when per capita citation rates were analyzed to disambiguate the effects of authors and countries, decreasing returns in citations were noted with increasing authors among large research teams.In contrast, an increasing number of unique countries had a persistent additive citation effect.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Mount Auburn Hospital, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.

ABSTRACT
Collaborative research has become the mainstay in knowledge production across many domains of science and is widely promoted as a means of cultivating research quality, enhanced resource utilization, and high impact. An accurate appraisal of the value of collaborative research efforts is necessary to inform current funding and research policies. We reveal contemporary trends in collaborative research spanning multiple subject fields, with a particular focus on interactions between nations. We also examined citation outcomes of research teams and confirmed the accumulative benefits of having additional authors and unique countries involved. However, when per capita citation rates were analyzed to disambiguate the effects of authors and countries, decreasing returns in citations were noted with increasing authors among large research teams. In contrast, an increasing number of unique countries had a persistent additive citation effect. We also assessed the placement of foreign authors relative to the first author in paper bylines of biomedical research articles, which demonstrated a significant citation advantage of having an international presence in the second-to-last author position, possibly occupied by foreign primary co-investigators. Our analyses highlight the evolution and functional impact of team dynamics in research and suggest empirical strategies to evaluate team science.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus