Fellows Webinar: What types of novelty are most disruptive?

This fellowship team will discuss how they used CADRE to find if novelty is always disruptive and, if not, which types are most disruptive.

Watch the recording:
Event details:

When: July 29, 3 p.m. ET
Where: Online
Livestream link: Register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

About the research: The broader research project for this team will better characterize scientific influence of papers, typically measured by how many times papers are cited, by distinguishing between papers that destabilize existing knowledge with novel concepts and papers that consolidate existing knowledge.

This particular project will build on recent advances in the study of novelty, impact, and their relationship. The team will uncover if novelty is always disruptive and, if not, which types are most disruptive.

Abstract (edited): In this project, we build on recent advances in the study of novelty, impact, and their relationship to investigate whether novelty is always disruptive, and if not, which types of novelty are most disruptive. We developed a computational measure to capture the ways in which scientific articles are novel (e.g., they can develop a new method, or present a new result). We also utilized a sophisticated measure, Funk and Owen-Smith's (2017) CD index, to capture the different ways an article can influence a stream of literature (e.g., by consolidating the status quo or disrupting it). Drawing upon classic sociology of science scholarship that distinguishes between the continually evolving research frontier and the more consensual and static core (Cole 1983), we developed hypotheses about which types of novelty are more likely to disrupt knowledge streams and which are more likely to consolidate them. By integrating data from the Web of Science (to measure the nature of scientific influence using the CD index) with reflective essays written by authors of Citation Classics (to see which articles were deemed “new” and in what ways) and by joining computational text analysis with statistical analyses, we demonstrate clear and robust patterns between type of novelty and the nature of scientific influence. As we expected, articles that develop and present a new method tend to be more disruptive, while papers presenting new results tend to be more consolidating. To our surprise, new theory (especially the most abstract kind of theory) is associated with a more consolidating type of influence. This may be attributable to the nature of theory and theory-building, which tends to involve synthesis and bricolage.

Read more about the researchers here.