Statistics of statisticians: Critical mass of statistics and operational research groups in the UK

Ralph Kenna, B. Berche

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    Abstract

    Using a recently developed model, inspired by mean field theory in statistical physics, and data from the UK's Research Assessment Exercise, we analyse the relationship between the quality of statistics and operational research groups and the quantity researchers in them. Similar to other academic disciplines, we provide evidence for a linear dependency of quality on quantity up to an upper critical mass, which is interpreted as the average maximum number of colleagues with whom a researcher can communicate meaningfully within a research group. The model also predicts a lower critical mass, which research groups should strive to achieve to avoid extinction. For statistics and operational research, the lower critical mass is estimated to be 9 ± 3. The upper critical mass, beyond which research quality does not significantly depend on group size, is about twice this value.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Journal of Modern Physics: Conference Series
    Volume16
    Issue number29
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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    group size
    statistics
    physics
    extinction

    Bibliographical note

    The full text is available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1142/S2010194512007751
    Electronic version of an article published as [International Journal of Modern Physics: Conference Series, 16, 29, 2012, 29-40] [10.1142/S2010194512007751I] © [copyright World Scientific Publishing Company] [http://www.worldscientific.com/worldscinet/ijmpcs]

    Keywords

    • Critical mass
    • research evaluation
    • research quality
    • research groups

    Cite this

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    T1 - Statistics of statisticians: Critical mass of statistics and operational research groups in the UK

    AU - Kenna, Ralph

    AU - Berche, B.

    N1 - The full text is available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1142/S2010194512007751 Electronic version of an article published as [International Journal of Modern Physics: Conference Series, 16, 29, 2012, 29-40] [10.1142/S2010194512007751I] © [copyright World Scientific Publishing Company] [http://www.worldscientific.com/worldscinet/ijmpcs]

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