Ah, but now comes a fascinating study by three scientists at Harvard: “Does Collocation Inform the Impact of Collaboration?” They wondered whether teams that are located in the same place produce papers that have a bigger impact than teams who are disparate. So they gathered info on 35,000 papers in biomedical research where there was at least one Harvard author, calculated where the authors lived, and examined how influential the papers were — based on how many citations they received. The upshot? Being physically close together is better. Teams that worked in the same place produced papers with a bigger impact than those who lived further apart. This was particularly true when you measure the physical distance between the first and last author of a paper. Check out the scatter plot above: It shows that teams located in the same building did better than teams that were merely in the same city, and teams that were in the same city did better than those that were inter-city.