• Long term productivity and collaboration in information science

      Thelwall, Mike; Levitt, Jonathan (Springer, 2016-07-02)
      Funding bodies have tended to encourage collaborative research because it is generally more highly cited than sole author research. But higher mean citation for collaborative articles does not imply collaborative researchers are in general more research productive. This article assesses the extent to which research productivity varies with the number of collaborative partners for long term researchers within three Web of Science subject areas: Information Science & Library Science, Communication and Medical Informatics. When using the whole number counting system, researchers who worked in groups of 2 or 3 were generally the most productive, in terms of producing the most papers and citations. However, when using fractional counting, researchers who worked in groups of 1 or 2 were generally the most productive. The findings need to be interpreted cautiously, however, because authors that produce few academic articles within a field may publish in other fields or leave academia and contribute to society in other ways.