On scaling of scientific knowledge production in U.S. metropolitan areas

Z.O. Nomaler, K. Frenken, G. Heimeriks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
103 Downloads (Pure)


Using data on all scientific publications from the Scopus database, we find a superlinear scaling effect for U.S. metropolitan areas as indicated by the increase of per capita publication output with city size. We also find that the variance of residuals is much higher for mid-sized cities (100,000 to 500,000 inhabitants) compared to larger cities. The latter result is indicative of the critical mass required to establish a scientific center in a particular discipline. Finally, we observe that the largest cities publish much less than the scaling law would predict, indicating that the largest cities are relatively unattractive locations for scientific research.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere110805
Pages (from-to)e110805-1/6
Number of pages6
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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