2016
//
Science of Success

Quantifying the Evolution of Individual Scientific Impact

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.

..

More publications
A. Vinayagama, T.E. Gibsonb, H.-J. Lee, B. Yilmazeld, C. Roeseld, Y. Hua, Y. Kwona, A. Sharma, Y.-Y. Liu, N. Perrimona, A.-L. Barabasi

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10.1073/pnas.1603992113, 1-6 (2016)

view
J. Gao, B. Barzel, A.-L. Barabási

Nature 530, 307-312 (2016)

view
P. Deville, C. Song, N. Eagle, V. D. Blondel, A.-L. Barabasi, D. Wang

PNAS 113: 26, 7047-7052 (2016)

view