Quantifying Long-term Scientific Impact

来源:作者: 发布时间:2013-07-14 浏览次数:530

Quantifying Long-term Scientific Impact


Dashun Wang,  Chaoming Song,  and Albert-L´aszl´o Barab´asi


Center for Complex Network Research, Department of Physics,
Biology and Computer Science, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA




An ability to accurately assess the long-term impact of a scientific discov-ery has implications from science policy to individual reward. Yet, the documented lack of predictability of citation based measures frequently used to gauge impact, from impact factors to short-term citations, raises a fundamental question: is there long-term predictability in citation pat-terns? Here we derive a mechanistic model for the citation dynamics of individual papers, allowing us to collapse the citation histories of papers from different journals and disciplines into a single curve, indicating that all papers follow the same universal temporal pattern. The observed patterns not only help us uncover the basic mechanisms that govern scientific impact, but also offer reliable measures of influence with potential policy implications.