The Matthew effect is a social phenomenon which deals with recognition of scientific work. At some point in their career, scientists will get to a point where their current level of success is influenced more by things (and publications) they did in the past, and less by things and publications done at the moment. Robert K. Merton first used the term in 1968. It is named after the Parable of the talents or minas in the Gospel of Matthew:
For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
I tell you, that to every one who has will more be given; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.