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written by Richard B. Freeman and Wei Huang
This article discusses the surname analysis of 2.5 million research papers in which all of the authors had US addresses. Our study showed that US-based authors with English surnames were more likely to have co-authors with English surnames than would occur by chance; those with Chinese names were more likely to have co-authors with Chinese names, and so on. The trend held for seven other groups, including Russian and Korean populations, between 1985 and 2008 in 11 scientific fields, including biomedicine, physics and geosciences. The results hint that scientific research is much like the rest of social life. Studies of social networks find that people eat with, work with and generally connect with others similar to themselves, a tendency that some sociologists call homophily. To the extent that surnames can be a proxy for ethnicity, homophily in scientific collaborations also seems to be related to a work's reception in the scientific community. After controlling for numbers of authors and for factors such as an ethnic groups' population density, we find that greater ethnic homogeneity among authors is associated with a paper's publication in lower-impact journals. It also predicts fewer citations. Papers with four or five authors of multiple ethnicities have, on average, one to two more citations than those written by authors all of the same ethnicity. This effect represents a 5–10% difference in the mean number of citations for a given publication.

Editor's Note: This article is part of a special collection of invited articles: "Diversity: A Nature & Scientific American Special Issue". See Related Materials in right menu for a link to the full collection.
Nature: Volume 513, Issue 7518, Pages 305-305
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Education - Basic Research
- Research Design & Methodology
= Data
= Evaluation
- Societal Issues
= International Issues
- Graduate/Professional
- Collection
- Reference Material
= Article
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This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.
Rights Holder:
Springer Nature, Ltd.
diversity, diversity in research, national origin
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created December 22, 2022 by Sam McKagan
Record Updated:
February 13, 2023 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
September 12, 2014
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Record Link
AIP Format
R. Freeman and W. Huang, , Nature 513 (7518), 305 (2014), WWW Document, (https://doi.org/10.1038/513305a).
R. Freeman and W. Huang, Collaboration: Strength in diversity, Nature 513 (7518), 305 (2014), <https://doi.org/10.1038/513305a>.
APA Format
Freeman, R., & Huang, W. (2014, September 12). Collaboration: Strength in diversity. Nature, 513(7518), 305-305. Retrieved June 15, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.1038/513305a
Chicago Format
Freeman, Richard B., and Wei Huang. "Collaboration: Strength in diversity." Nature. 513, no. 7518, (September 12, 2014): 305-305, https://doi.org/10.1038/513305a (accessed 15 June 2024).
MLA Format
Freeman, Richard B., and Wei Huang. "Collaboration: Strength in diversity." Nature 513.7518 (2014): 305-305. 15 June 2024 <https://doi.org/10.1038/513305a>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Richard B. Freeman and Wei Huang", Title = {Collaboration: Strength in diversity}, Journal = {Nature}, Volume = {513}, Number = {7518}, Pages = {305-305}, Month = {September}, Year = {2014} }
Refer Export Format

%A Richard B. Freeman %A Wei Huang %T Collaboration: Strength in diversity %J Nature %V 513 %N 7518 %D September 12, 2014 %P 305-305 %U https://doi.org/10.1038/513305a %O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article %A Freeman, Richard B. %A Huang, Wei %D September 12, 2014 %T Collaboration: Strength in diversity %J Nature %V 513 %N 7518 %P 305-305 %8 September 12, 2014 %U https://doi.org/10.1038/513305a

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The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The AJP/PRST-PER presented is based on the AIP Style with the addition of journal article titles and conference proceeding article titles.

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Collaboration: Strength in diversity:

Is Part Of Diversity: A Nature & Scientific American Special Issue

Link to the full collection of invited articles published by Springer Nature in 2014 on the topic of diversity.

relation by Caroline Hall

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