Team consolidation, social integration and scientists' research performance: An empirical study in the Biology and Biomedicine field


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Abstract

The effects of team consolidation and social integration on individual scientists' activity and performance were investigated by analysing the relationships between these factors and scientists' productivity, impact, collaboration patterns, participation in funded research projects and programs, contribution to the training of junior researchers, and prestige. Data were obtained from a survey of researchers ascribed to the Biology and Biomedicine area of the Spanish Council for Scientific Research, and from their curricula vitae. The results show that high levels of team consolidation and of integration of the scientist within his or her team are factors which might help create the most favourable social climate for research performance and productivity. Researchers who carried out their activity in a social climate characterized by these factors participated in more domestic research projects and supervised more doctoral dissertations than the rest of their colleagues. They were also more productive, as shown by the higher number of papers published in journals included in the Journal Citation Reports and the higher number of patents granted. These metrics are the main indicators taken into account in the evaluation of the research activity of Spanish scientists, and are therefore the activities that scientists invest the most energy in with a view to obtaining professional recognition. The results corroborate the importance of research teamwork, and draw attention to the importance of teamwork understood not as two or more scientists working together to solve a problem, but as a complex process involving interactions and interpersonal relations within a particular contextual framework

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