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  • 1 General Education Center, National Tainan Institute of Nursing, Tainan, Taiwan, ROC
  • | 2 Department of Physics, Chung Yuan Christian University, Chung-li, Taiwan, ROC
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Abstract

We obtained data of statistical significance to verify the intuitive impression that collaboration leads to higher impact. We selected eight scientific journals to analyze the correlations between the number of citations and the number of coauthors. For different journals, the single-authored articles always contained the lowest citations. The citations to those articles with fewer than five coauthors are lower than the average citations of the journal. We also provided a simple measurement to the value of authorship with regards to the increase number of citations. Compared to the citation distribution, similar but smaller fluctuations appeared in the coauthor distribution. Around 70% of the citations were accumulated in 30% of the papers, while 60% of the coauthors appeared in 40% of the papers. We find that predicting the citation number from the coauthor number can be more reliable than predicting the coauthor number from the citation number. For both citation distribution and coauthor distribution, the standard deviation is larger than the average value. We caution the use of such an unrepresentative average value. The average value can be biased significantly by extreme minority, and might not reflect the majority.

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