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A Nobel opportunity for interdisciplinarity

Despite the growing interdisciplinarity of research, the Nobel Prize consolidates the traditional disciplinary categorization of science. There is, in fact, an opportunity for the most revered scientific reward to mirror the current research landscape.

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Fig. 1: The disciplinary/interdisciplinary impact of Nobel Prize-winning discoveries.
Fig. 2: The intellectual space of Nobel Prizes.
Fig. 3: Interdisciplinary research is on the rise.

Data availability

All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the supplementary information files of this published article.


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The authors thank H.-W. Shen for providing the data set of Nobel Prize-winning papers, F. Musciotto for Web of Science data extraction, and M. Iori, F. Battiston and A.-L. Barabási for helpful comments. R.S. and M.S. acknowledge support from AFOSR grant FA9550-15-1-0077 and from the Templeton Foundation grant no. 61066. R.S. acknowledges support from AFOSR grant FA9550-15-1-0364 and from the Central European University Intellectual Themes Initiative ‘Just Data’.

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Correspondence to Roberta Sinatra.

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Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary Figures and Notes

Supplementary Dataset 1

Bibliographic information of the 220 papers with interdisciplinary impact found among the top 10,000 cited papers, including identified subfields

Supplementary Dataset 2

Field-specific citations of the top 10,000 cited papers

Supplementary Dataset 3

Bibliographic information of the Nobel Prize-winning papers, including field-specific citations and laureates

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Szell, M., Ma, Y. & Sinatra, R. A Nobel opportunity for interdisciplinarity. Nature Phys 14, 1075–1078 (2018).

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