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Interdisciplinarity and Impact: Distinct Effects of Variety, Balance, and Disparity

Published on May 22, 2015in PLOS ONE2.78
· DOI :10.1371/journal.pone.0127298
Jian Wang11
Estimated H-index: 11
(Katholieke Universiteit Leuven),
Bart Thijs23
Estimated H-index: 23
(Katholieke Universiteit Leuven),
GlänzelWolfgang55
Estimated H-index: 55
(Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)
Abstract
Interdisciplinary research is increasingly recognized as the solution to today’s challenging scientific and societal problems, but the relationship between interdisciplinary research and scientific impact is still unclear. This paper studies the association between the degree of interdisciplinarity and the number of citations at the paper level. Different from previous studies compositing various aspects of interdisciplinarity into a single indicator, we use factor analysis to uncover distinct dimensions of interdisciplinarity corresponding to variety, balance, and disparity. We estimate Poisson models with journal fixed effects and robust standard errors to analyze the divergent relationships between these three factors and citations. We find that long-term (13-year) citations (1) increase at an increasing rate with variety, (2) decrease with balance, and (3) increase at a decreasing rate with disparity. Furthermore, interdisciplinarity also affects the process of citation accumulation: (1) although variety and disparity have positive effects on long-term citations, they have negative effects on short-term (3-year) citations, and (2) although balance has a negative effect on long-term citations, its negative effect is insignificant in the short run. These findings have important implications for interdisciplinary research and science policy.
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  • References (66)
  • Citations (40)
References66
Newest
#1You-Na Lee (Georgia Institute of Technology)H-Index: 6
#2John Walsii (GRIPS: National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies)H-Index: 28
Last.Jian Wang (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)H-Index: 11
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#1Jian Wang (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)H-Index: 11
#2Diana Hicks (Georgia Institute of Technology)H-Index: 27
#1Jian Wang (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)H-Index: 11
#2Yajun Mei (Georgia Institute of Technology)H-Index: 1
Last.Diana Hicks (Georgia Institute of Technology)H-Index: 27
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#1Dashun Wang (IBM)H-Index: 14
#2Chaoming Song (UM: University of Miami)H-Index: 25
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#1Diego Chavarro (Polytechnic University of Valencia)H-Index: 5
#2Puay Tang (Polytechnic University of Valencia)H-Index: 12
Last.Ismael Rafols (Polytechnic University of Valencia)H-Index: 27
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#1Lutz Bornmann (MPG: Max Planck Society)H-Index: 46
#2Loet Leydesdorff (UvA: University of Amsterdam)H-Index: 77
Last.Jian Wang (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)H-Index: 11
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#1Brian Uzzi (NU: Northwestern University)H-Index: 34
#2Satyam Mukherjee (NU: Northwestern University)H-Index: 9
Last.Benjamin F. Jones (NU: Northwestern University)H-Index: 20
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#1Dashun Wang (NU: Northeastern University)H-Index: 14
#2Chaoming Song (NU: Northeastern University)H-Index: 25
Last.Albert-La szlo Baraba siH-Index: 115
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#1Qi Wang (KTH: Royal Institute of Technology)
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#1Alan L. Porter (Georgia Institute of Technology)H-Index: 40
#2Stephen F. Carley (Search Technologies)H-Index: 2
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#1Mingyang Wang (NEFU: Northeast Forestry University)H-Index: 6
#2Zhenyu Wang (NEFU: Northeast Forestry University)
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#1Giovanni Abramo (National Research Council)H-Index: 27
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#1Hamid R. Jamali (CSU: Charles Sturt University)H-Index: 27
#2Alireza Abbasi (UNSW: University of New South Wales)H-Index: 14
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#1Zheng Xie (National University of Defense Technology)H-Index: 5
#2Miao Li (SJTU: Shanghai Jiao Tong University)H-Index: 2
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