Differences in collaboration structures and impact among prominent researchers in Europe and North America
Department of Chemical Engineering, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Catalonia
2 Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
3 London School of Economics, London, UK
4 Institute for Economic Analysis, Spanish National Research Council, Barcelona, Catalonia
5 ICREA, Barcelona, Catalonia
Accepted: 30 January 2023
Published online: 28 April 2023
Scientists collaborate through intricate networks, which impact the quality and scope of their research. At the same time, funding and institutional arrangements, as well as scientific and political cultures, affect the structure of collaboration networks. Since such arrangements and cultures differ across regions in the world in systematic ways, we surmise that collaboration networks and impact should also differ systematically across regions. To test this, we compare the structure of collaboration networks among prominent researchers in North America and Europe. We find that prominent researchers in Europe establish denser collaboration networks, whereas those in North America establish more decentralized networks. We also find that the impact of the publications of prominent researchers in North America is significantly higher than for those in Europe, both when they collaborate with other prominent researchers and when they do not. Although Europeans collaborate with other prominent researchers more often, which increases their impact, we also find that repeated collaboration among prominent researchers decreases the synergistic effect of collaborating.
Key words: Science of science / Complex networks / Collaboration networks / Research impact / Computational social science
© The Author(s) 2023
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