The boundary-spanning mechanisms of Nobel Prize winning papers

Yakub Sebastian, Chaomei Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The breakthrough potentials of research papers can be explained by their boundary-spanning qualities. Here, for the first time, we apply the structural variation analysis (SVA) model and its affiliated metrics to investigate the extent to which such qualities characterize a group of Nobel Prize winning papers. We find that these papers share remarkable boundary- spanning traits, marked by exceptional abilities to connect disparate and topicallydiverse clusters of research papers. Further, their publications exert structural variations on a scale that significantly alters the betweenness centrality distributions in existing intellectual space. Overall, SVA not only provides a set of leading indicators for describing future Nobel Prize winning papers, but also broadens our understanding of similar prize-winning properties that may have been overlooked among other regular publications. Introduction.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0254744
JournalPloS one
Issue number8 August
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Aug

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Sebastian, Chen. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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