Times cited: 1

Krauss, A, Danús, L, Sales-Pardo, M.
Sci. Rep. 13 , art. no. 18794 (2023).

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Can we help predict the future impact of researchers using early-career factors? We analyze early-career factors of the world’s 100 most prominent researchers across 8 scientific fields and identify four key drivers in researchers’ initial career: working at a top 25 ranked university, publishing a paper in a top 5 ranked journal, publishing most papers in top quartile (high-impact) journals and co-authoring with other prominent researchers in their field. We find that over 95% of prominent researchers across multiple fields had at least one of these four features in the first 5 years of their career. We find that the most prominent scientists who had an early career advantage in terms of citations and h-index are more likely to have had all four features, and that this advantage persists throughout their career after 10, 15 and 20 years. Our findings show that these few early-career factors help predict researchers’ impact later in their careers. Our research thus points to the need to enhance fairness and career mobility among scientists who have not had a jump start early on.