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W Li, T Aste, F Caccioli and G Livan
Abstract
We examined the long-term impact of coauthorship with established, highly-cited scientists on the careers of junior researchers in four scientific disciplines. Here, using matched pair analysis, we find that junior researchers who coauthor work with top scientists enjoy a persistent competitive advantage throughout the rest of their careers, compared to peers with similar early career profiles but without top coauthors. Such early coauthorship predicts a higher probability of repeatedly coauthoring work with top-cited scientists, and, ultimately, a higher probability of becoming one. Junior researchers affiliated with less prestigious institutions show the most benefits from coauthorship with a top scientist. As a consequence, we argue that such institutions may hold vast amounts of untapped potential, which may be realised by improving access to top scientists.
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