MSI & ECOOM
and Bruegel and CEPR
Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|April 2016||Bias against Novelty in Science: A Cautionary Tale for Users of Bibliometric Indicators|
with Jian Wang, Paula Stephan: w22180
Research which explores unchartered waters has a high potential for major impact but also carries a higher uncertainty of having impact. Such explorative research is often described as taking a novel approach. This study examines the complex relationship between pursuing a novel approach and impact. Viewing scientific research as a combinatorial process, we measure novelty in science by examining whether a published paper makes first time ever combinations of referenced journals, taking into account the difficulty of making such combinations. We apply this newly developed measure of novelty to all Web of Science research articles published in 2001 across all scientific disciplines. We find that highly novel papers, defined to be those that make more (distant) new combinations, deliver...