The preeminence of ethnic diversity in scientific collaboration

Bedoor K. AlShebli, Talal Rahwan, Wei Lee Woon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Inspired by the social and economic benefits of diversity, we analyze over 9 million papers and 6 million scientists to study the relationship between research impact and five classes of diversity: ethnicity, discipline, gender, affiliation, and academic age. Using randomized baseline models, we establish the presence of homophily in ethnicity, gender and affiliation. We then study the effect of diversity on scientific impact, as reflected in citations. Remarkably, of the classes considered, ethnic diversity had the strongest correlation with scientific impact. To further isolate the effects of ethnic diversity, we used randomized baseline models and again found a clear link between diversity and impact. To further support these findings, we use coarsened exact matching to compare the scientific impact of ethnically diverse papers and scientists with closely-matched control groups. Here, we find that ethnic diversity resulted in an impact gain of 10.63% for papers, and 47.67% for scientists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5163
JournalNature Communications
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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