Quantifying the evolution of individual scientific impact

Roberta Sinatra, Dashun Wang, Pierre Deville, Chaoming Song, Albert László Barabási

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

116 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite the frequent use of numerous quantitative indicators to gauge the professional impact of a scientist, little is known about how scientific impact emerges and evolves in time. Here, we quantify the changes in impact and productivity throughout a career in science, finding that impact, as measured by influential publications, is distributed randomly within a scientist's sequence of publications. This random-impact rule allows us to formulate a stochastic model that uncouples the effects of productivity, individual ability, and luck and unveils the existence of universal patterns governing the emergence of scientific success.The model assigns a unique individual parameter Q to each scientist, which is stable during a career, and it accurately predicts the evolution of a scientist's impact, from the h-index to cumulative citations, and independent recognitions, such as prizes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberaaf5239
JournalScience
Volume354
Issue number6312
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 4 2016

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • General

Cite this

Sinatra, R., Wang, D., Deville, P., Song, C., & Barabási, A. L. (2016). Quantifying the evolution of individual scientific impact. Science, 354(6312), [aaf5239]. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaf5239

Quantifying the evolution of individual scientific impact. / Sinatra, Roberta; Wang, Dashun; Deville, Pierre; Song, Chaoming; Barabási, Albert László.

In: Science, Vol. 354, No. 6312, aaf5239, 04.11.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sinatra, R, Wang, D, Deville, P, Song, C & Barabási, AL 2016, 'Quantifying the evolution of individual scientific impact', Science, vol. 354, no. 6312, aaf5239. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaf5239
Sinatra R, Wang D, Deville P, Song C, Barabási AL. Quantifying the evolution of individual scientific impact. Science. 2016 Nov 4;354(6312). aaf5239. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaf5239
Sinatra, Roberta ; Wang, Dashun ; Deville, Pierre ; Song, Chaoming ; Barabási, Albert László. / Quantifying the evolution of individual scientific impact. In: Science. 2016 ; Vol. 354, No. 6312.
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