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Abstract: Academic research groups are treated as complex systems and their cooperativebehaviour is analysed from a mathematical and statistical viewpoint. Contraryto the naive expectation that the quality of a research group is simply givenby the mean calibre of its individual scientists, we show that intra-groupinteractions play a dominant role. Our model manifests phenomena akin to phasetransitions which are brought about by these interactions, and which facilitatethe quantification of the notion of critical mass for research groups. Wepresent these critical masses for many academic areas. A consequence of ouranalysis is that overall research performance of a given discipline is improvedby supporting medium-sized groups over large ones, while small groups muststrive to achieve critical mass.



Author: Ralph Kenna, Bertrand Berche

Source: https://arxiv.org/







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