Fresh teams are associated with original and multidisciplinary research

An Zeng, Ying Fan, Zengru Di, Yougui Wang, Shlomo Havlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Teamwork is one of the most prominent features in modern science. It is now well understood that team size is an important factor that affects the creativity of the team. However, the crucial question of how the character of research studies is related to the freshness of a team remains unclear. Here, we quantify the team freshness according to the absence of prior collaboration among team members. Our results suggest that papers produced by fresher teams are associated with greater originality and a greater multidisciplinary impact. These effects are even stronger in larger teams. Furthermore, we find that freshness defined by new team members in a paper is a more effective indicator of research originality and multidisciplinarity compared with freshness defined by new collaboration relationships among team members. Finally, we show that the career freshness of team members is also positively correlated with the originality and multidisciplinarity of produced papers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1314-1322
Number of pages9
JournalNature Human Behaviour
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.


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