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Science of Science
BACKGROUND:
The increasing availability ofdigital data on scholarly inputs and outputsfromresearch funding,
productivity, and co lla borationto paper citations and scientist mob ilityoffersunprecedented
opportunities to explore the struc-ture and evolution of science. The science ofscience (SciSci)
offers a quantitative understandingof the interactions among scientific agent s acrossdiverse
geographic and temporal scales: It providesinsights into the conditions underlying creativityand
the genesis of scientific discovery, with theultimate goal of developing tools and policiesthat
have the potential to accelerate science. Inthe past decade, SciSci has benefited from an in-flux
of natural, computational, and social scien-tists who together have developed big data
basedcapabilities for empirical analysis and generativemodeling that capture the unfolding of
science,its institutions, and its workforce. The value prop-osition of SciSci is that with a deeper
understand-ing of the factors that drive successful science, wecan more effectively address
environmental, soci-etal, and technological problems.
ADVANCES:
Science can be described as a co m-plex, self-organizing, and evolving network ofscholars,
projects, papers, and ideas. This rep-resentation has unveiled patterns characterizingthe
emergence of new scientific fields throughthe study of collaboration networks and the pathof
impactful discoveries through the study ofcitation networks. Microscopic models have tracedthe
dynamics of citation accumulation, allowingus to predict the future impact of individualpapers.
SciSci has revealed choices and trade-offsthat scientists face as they advance both their
owncareers and the scientific horizon. For example, mea-surements indicate that scholars are
risk-averse,preferring to study topics related to theircurrentexpertise, which constrains the
potential of futurediscoveries. Those willing to break this patternengage in riskier careers but
become more likely tomake major breakthroughs. Overall, the highest-impact science is
grounded in conventional combi-nations of prior work but features unusualcombinations. Last,
as the locus of research isshifting into teams, SciSci is increasingly focused onthe impact of
team research, finding that small teamstend to disrupt science and technology with newideas
drawing on older and less prevalent ones. Incontrast, large teams tend to develop recent,
popularideas, obtaining high, but often short-lived, impact.
OUTLOOK:
SciSci offers a deep quantitativeunderstanding of the relational structure betweenscientists,
institutions, and ideas because it facil-itates the identification of fundamental mecha-nisms
responsible for scientific discovery. Theseinterdisciplinary data-driven efforts
complementcontributions from related fields such as sciento-metrics and the economics and
sociology ofscience. Although SciScisee ks lon g-standing univer-sal laws and mechanismsthat
apply across variousfields of science, a funda-mental challenge goingforward is accounting
forundeniable differences in culture, habits, andpreferences between different fields and coun-
tries. This variation makes some cross-domaininsights difficult to appreciate and
associatedscience policies difficult to implement. The differ-ences among the questions, data,
and skills specif-ic to each discipline suggest that further insightscan be gained from domain-

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Science of Science BACKGROUND: The increasing availability ofdigital data on scholarly inputs and outputs—fromresearch funding, productivity, and co lla borationto paper citations and scientist mob ility—offersunprecedented opportunities to explore the struc-ture and evolution of science. The science ofscience (SciSci) offers a quantitative understandingof the interactions among scientific agent s acrossdiverse geographic and temporal scales: It providesinsights into the conditions underlying creativityand the genesis of scientific discovery, with theultimate goal of developing tools and p ...
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