Colocation and Scientific Collaboration: Evidence from a Field Experiment

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Colocation and Scientific Collaboration: Evidence from a Field Experiment

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Title: Colocation and Scientific Collaboration: Evidence from a Field Experiment
Author: Boudreau, Kevin; Ganguli Prokopovych, Ina; Gaule, Patrick; Guinan, Eva Catharina; Lakhani, Karim R

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Boudreau, Kevin, Ina Ganguli, Patrick Gaule, Eva Guinan, and Karim Lakhani. "Colocation and Scientific Collaboration: Evidence from a Field Experiment." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 13-023, August 2012
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Abstract: We present the results of a field experiment conducted within the Harvard Medical School system of hospitals and research centers to understand how colocation impacts the likelihood of scientific collaboration. We introduce exogenous colocation and face-to-face interactions for a random subset of biomedical researchers responding to an opportunity to apply for a research grant. While the overall baseline likelihood of any two researchers collaborating is small, we find that random colocation significantly increases the likelihood of pair-level co-application by almost 70%. The effect of exogenous colocation on subsequent collaboration was greater for previous coauthors, pairs including a woman, and pairs researching similar clinical areas. Our results suggest that matching between scientists may be subject to considerable frictions—even among those in relatively close geographic proximity and in the same organizational system. At the same time, even a brief and focused intervention facilitating face-to-face interactions can provide information that impacts the formation of scientific collaborations.
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Open Access Policy Articles, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#OAP
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:9502859

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