One of the most universal trends in science and technology today is the growth of large teams in all areas, as solitary researchers and small teams diminish in prevalence1,2,3. Increases in team size have been attributed to the specialization of scientific activities3, improvements in communication technology4,5, or the complexity of modern problems that require interdisciplinary solutions6,7,8. This shift in team size raises the question of whether and how the character of the science and technology produced by large teams differs from that of small teams. Here we analyse more than 65 million papers, patents and software products that span the period 1954–2014, and demonstrate that across this period smaller teams have tended to disrupt science and technology with new ideas and opportunities, whereas larger teams have tended to develop existing ones. Work from larger teams builds on more-recent and popular developments, and attention to their work comes immediately. By contrast, contributions by smaller teams search more deeply into the past, are viewed as disruptive to science and technology and succeed further into the future—if at all. Observed differences between small and large teams are magnified for higher-impact work, with small teams known for disruptive work and large teams for developing work. Differences in topic and research design account for a small part of the relationship between team size and disruption; most of the effect occurs at the level of the individual, as people move between smaller and larger teams. These results demonstrate that both small and large teams are essential to a flourishing ecology of science and technology, and suggest that, to achieve this, science policies should aim to support a diversity of team sizes.
Large teams develop and small teams disrupt science and technology
Lingfei Wu, Dashun Wang & James A. Evans
Accurate prediction of the size and timing of infectious disease outbreaks could help public health officials in planning an appropriate response. This paper compares approaches developed by five different research groups to forecast seasonal influenza outbreaks in real time in the United States. Many of the models show more accurate forecasts than a historical baseline. A major impediment to predictive ability was the real-time accuracy of available data. The field of infectious disease forecasting is in its infancy and we expect that innovation will spur improvements in forecasting in the coming years.
A collaborative multiyear, multimodel assessment of seasonal influenza forecasting in the United States
Nicholas G. Reich, Logan C. Brooks, Spencer J. Fox, Sasikiran Kandula, Craig J. McGowan, Evan Moore, Dave Osthus, Evan L. Ray, Abhinav Tushar, Teresa K. Yamana, Matthew Biggerstaff, Michael A. Johansson, Roni Rosenfeld, and Jeffrey Shaman
PNAS published ahead of print January 15, 2019 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1812594116
This book provides the basis of a formal language and explores its possibilities in the characterization of multiplex networks. Armed with the formalism developed, the authors define structural metrics for multiplex networks. A methodology to generalize monoplex structural metrics to multiplex networks is also presented so that the reader will be able to generalize other metrics of interest in a systematic way. Therefore, this book will serve as a guide for the theoretical development of new multiplex metrics.
Furthermore, this Brief describes the spectral properties of these networks in relation to concepts from algebraic graph theory and the theory of matrix polynomials. The text is rounded off by analyzing the different structural transitions present in multiplex systems as well as by a brief overview of some representative dynamical processes.
Multiplex Networks will appeal to students, researchers, and professionals within the fields of network science, graph theory, and data science.
Multiplex Networks: Basic Formalism and Structural Properties (SpringerBriefs in Complexity)
by Emanuele Cozzo, Guilherme Ferraz de Arruda, Francisco Aparecido Rodrigues, Yamir Moreno