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The Nobel Curse

Nobel prize winners’ research published later in their career find a tougher reception by the scientific community.

Cristina Luiggi

Nobel Prize medal in medicine

Along with superstardom, money, and prestige, a Noble Prize can bring tougher critics for the laureates and their subsequent work. By tracking the publication record of Nobel Prize-winning ideas from 204 laureates from 1980 to 2009 in physics, chemistry, and medicine, psychologists at Ohio State University found that papers published after the Nobel was awarded were often cited less and published in journals with a lower impact factor than the first publication on the subject.

“While their work is still successful, laureates find their later work doesn’t get the same level of attention and acceptance as their earlier work,” study leader Christine Charyton, a visiting psychology professor at Ohio State University, said in a press release.

The researchers, who presented their finding this past weekend at the American Psychological Association convention in Washington, DC, speculate that top-tier journals may regard post-Nobel papers as either...

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