The Reverse Matthew Effect: Catastrophe and Consequence in Scientific Teams

Ginger Zhe Jin, Benjamin F Jones, Susan Feng Lu, Brian Uzzi

Research output: Working paper

Abstract

Teamwork pervades modern economies, yet teamwork can make individual roles difficult to ascertain. In the sciences, the canonical "Matthew Effect" suggests that eminent team members garner credit for great works at the expense of less eminent team members. We study this phenomenon in reverse, investigating how damaging events, article retractions, affect citations to the authors' prior publications. We find that retractions impose little citation penalty on eminent coauthors, but less eminent coauthors face substantial citation declines, especially when teamed with an eminent author. This asymmetry suggests a "Reverse Matthew Effect" for team-produced catastrophes. A Bayesian model provides a candidate interpretation.
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherNational Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Number of pages56
StatePublished - Oct 2013

Fingerprint

Citations
Catastrophe
Team work
Penalty
Credit
Asymmetry
Expenses
Bayesian model

Cite this

Jin, G. Z., Jones, B. F., Lu, S. F., & Uzzi, B. (2013). The Reverse Matthew Effect: Catastrophe and Consequence in Scientific Teams. National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).
Jin, Ginger Zhe ; Jones, Benjamin F ; Lu, Susan Feng ; Uzzi, Brian. / The Reverse Matthew Effect : Catastrophe and Consequence in Scientific Teams. National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), 2013.
@techreport{af1ae8873f6a40599081a291b9197b6c,
title = "The Reverse Matthew Effect: Catastrophe and Consequence in Scientific Teams",
abstract = "Teamwork pervades modern economies, yet teamwork can make individual roles difficult to ascertain. In the sciences, the canonical {"}Matthew Effect{"} suggests that eminent team members garner credit for great works at the expense of less eminent team members. We study this phenomenon in reverse, investigating how damaging events, article retractions, affect citations to the authors' prior publications. We find that retractions impose little citation penalty on eminent coauthors, but less eminent coauthors face substantial citation declines, especially when teamed with an eminent author. This asymmetry suggests a {"}Reverse Matthew Effect{"} for team-produced catastrophes. A Bayesian model provides a candidate interpretation.",
author = "Jin, {Ginger Zhe} and Jones, {Benjamin F} and Lu, {Susan Feng} and Brian Uzzi",
year = "2013",
month = "10",
language = "English (US)",
publisher = "National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)",
type = "WorkingPaper",
institution = "National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)",

}

Jin, GZ, Jones, BF, Lu, SF & Uzzi, B 2013 'The Reverse Matthew Effect: Catastrophe and Consequence in Scientific Teams' National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).

The Reverse Matthew Effect : Catastrophe and Consequence in Scientific Teams. / Jin, Ginger Zhe; Jones, Benjamin F; Lu, Susan Feng; Uzzi, Brian.

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), 2013.

Research output: Working paper

TY - UNPB

T1 - The Reverse Matthew Effect

T2 - Catastrophe and Consequence in Scientific Teams

AU - Jin, Ginger Zhe

AU - Jones, Benjamin F

AU - Lu, Susan Feng

AU - Uzzi, Brian

PY - 2013/10

Y1 - 2013/10

N2 - Teamwork pervades modern economies, yet teamwork can make individual roles difficult to ascertain. In the sciences, the canonical "Matthew Effect" suggests that eminent team members garner credit for great works at the expense of less eminent team members. We study this phenomenon in reverse, investigating how damaging events, article retractions, affect citations to the authors' prior publications. We find that retractions impose little citation penalty on eminent coauthors, but less eminent coauthors face substantial citation declines, especially when teamed with an eminent author. This asymmetry suggests a "Reverse Matthew Effect" for team-produced catastrophes. A Bayesian model provides a candidate interpretation.

AB - Teamwork pervades modern economies, yet teamwork can make individual roles difficult to ascertain. In the sciences, the canonical "Matthew Effect" suggests that eminent team members garner credit for great works at the expense of less eminent team members. We study this phenomenon in reverse, investigating how damaging events, article retractions, affect citations to the authors' prior publications. We find that retractions impose little citation penalty on eminent coauthors, but less eminent coauthors face substantial citation declines, especially when teamed with an eminent author. This asymmetry suggests a "Reverse Matthew Effect" for team-produced catastrophes. A Bayesian model provides a candidate interpretation.

M3 - Working paper

BT - The Reverse Matthew Effect

PB - National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

ER -

Jin GZ, Jones BF, Lu SF, Uzzi B. The Reverse Matthew Effect: Catastrophe and Consequence in Scientific Teams. National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). 2013 Oct.