Predicting Scientific Success Based on Coauthorship Networks

Emre Sarigol, Rene Pfitzner, Ingo Scholtes, Antonios Garas and Frank Schweitzer

EPJ Data Science (2014)

Projects: Science of Science


We address the question to what extent the success of scientific articles is due to social influence. Analyzing a data set of over 100000 publications from the field of Computer Science, we study how centrality in the coauthorship network differs between authors who have highly cited papers and those who do not. We further show that a machine learning classifier, based only on coauthorship network centrality measures at time of publication, is able to predict with high precision whether an article will be highly cited five years after publication. By this we provide quantitative insight into the social dimension of scientific publishing - challenging the perception of citations as an objective, socially unbiased measure of scientific success.