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Team Power Dynamics and Team Impact ( SIG-STI)

Power dynamics influence every aspect of scientific collaboration. Team power dynamics can be measured by team power level and team power hierarchy. Team power level is conceptualized as the average level of the possession of resources, expertise, or decision-making authorities of a team. Team power hierarchy represents the vertical differences of the possessions of resources in a team. In Science of Science, few studies have looked at scientific collaboration from the perspective of team power dynamics. This research examines how team power dynamics affect team impact to fill the research gap. In this research, all coauthors of one publication are treated as one team. Team power level and team power hierarchy of one team are measured by the mean and Gini index of career age of coauthors in this team. Team impact is quantified by citations of a paper authored by this team. By analyzing over 7.7 million teams from CS, Physics, LIS, and Sociology disciplines, we find that flat team structure is associated with higher team impact. Our finding also provides direction for studying shared leadership in scientific teams.


Huimin Xu is a Ph.D. student in Information Studies at UT Austin. She is enthusiastic about developing computational approaches to address social science inquiries. Her research interests are computational social science and science of science. Her research has been published in journals including JASIST and PLoS One.