Team formation and team performance: The balance between team freshness and repeat collaboration

by   Meijun Liu, et al.

Incorporating fresh members in teams is considered a pathway to team creativity. However, whether freshness improves team performance or not remains unclear, as well as the optimal involvement of fresh members for team performance. This study uses a group of authors on the byline of a publication as a proxy for a scientific team. We extend an indicator, i.e., team freshness, to measure the extent to which a scientific team incorporates new members, by calculating the fraction of new collaboration relations established within the team. Based on more than 43 million scientific publications covering more than a half-century of research from Microsoft Academic Graph, this study provides a holistic picture of the current development of team freshness by outlining the temporal evolution of freshness, and its disciplinary distribution. Subsequently, using a multivariable regression approach, we examine the association between team freshness and papers'short-term and long-term citations.The major findings are as follows: (1)team freshness in scientific teams has been increasing in the past half-century; (2)there exists an inverted-U-shaped association between team freshness and papers' citations in all the disciplines and in different periods;(3)the inverted-U-shaped relationship between team freshness and papers' citations is only found in small teams, while, in large teams, team freshness is significantly positively related to papers' citations.


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