Multi-University Research Teams: Shifting Impact, Geography, and Stratification in Science

Science, Vol. 322, pp. 1259-1262

Posted: 3 Dec 2008

See all articles by Benjamin F. Jones

Benjamin F. Jones

Northwestern University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Stefan Wuchty

Northwestern University

Brian Uzzi

Northwestern University

Date Written: November 21, 2008

Abstract

This paper demonstrates that teamwork in science increasingly spans university boundaries, a dramatic shift in knowledge production that generalizes across virtually all fields of science, engineering, and social science. Moreover, elite universities play a dominant role in this shift. By examining 4.2 million papers published over three decades, we found that multi-university collaborations (i) are the fastest growing type of authorship structure; (ii) produce the highest-impact papers when they include a top-tier university; and (iii) are increasingly stratified by in-group university rank. Despite the rising frequency of research that crosses university boundaries, the intensification of social stratification in multi-university collaborations suggests a concentration of the production of scientific knowledge in fewer rather than more centers of high-impact science.

Suggested Citation

Jones, Benjamin F. and Wuchty, Stefan and Uzzi, Brian, Multi-University Research Teams: Shifting Impact, Geography, and Stratification in Science (November 21, 2008). Science, Vol. 322, pp. 1259-1262. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1309846

Benjamin F. Jones (Contact Author)

Northwestern University ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
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847-491-3177 (Phone)
847-467-1777 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
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Stefan Wuchty

Northwestern University ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Brian Uzzi

Northwestern University ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

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