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School of Systems Science of BNU publishes research results in Nature Human Behaviour

Teamwork is one of the most prominent features in modern science. It is now well understood that team size is an important factor that affects the creativity of the team. However, the crucial question of how the character of research studies is related to the freshness of a team remains unclear.

Recently, Associate Professor Zeng An, together with Professor Fan Ying, Professor Di Zengru and Professor Wang Yougui, of School of Systems Science, Beijing Normal University, wrote an article with Professor Shlomo Havlin of Bar-Ilan University of Israel jointly, revealing the key role of new teams in original research and multidisciplinary influence.

Their results suggest that papers produced by fresher teams are associated with greater originality and a greater multidisciplinary impact. These effects are even stronger in larger teams. Furthermore, the research finds that freshness defined by new team members in a paper is a more effective indicator of research originality and multidisciplinarity compared with freshness defined by new collaboration relationships among team members. Finally, it shows that the career freshness of team members is also positively correlated with the originality and multidisciplinarity of produced papers.


The article was published in Nature Human Behavior on April 5, 2021. This achievement is another important progress made by the team of School of Systems Science on the basis of scientific big data, following the publication of a large-scale review of Science in Physics Reports in 2017 and the revelation of the pattern of scientists' interest transfer in Nature Communications in 2019.