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Scientific Collaboration Networks
Author(s):
Antonio Perianes-Rodriguez
Institution:
Carlos III University of Madrid; SCImago Research Group
Year:
2007
URL:
http://www.scimago.es/perianes/welcome.htm
Project Description:
According to Antonio Perianes-Rodriguez and from the perspective of Library Science and Documentation, little research has yet been conducted on scientific networking and its possible uses in ascertaining the composition of research groups, the differences in associations between specialities or departments, and the different policies that may be followed in this regard, depending on the institution or the domain analyzed. Traditionally, most studies on scientific collaboration have been geared to analyzing output, be it international or domestic, of a given scientific discipline or a research institution. Studies on smaller units such as departments or research groups are however less common.

The work shown here, by Antonio Perianes-Rodriguez, focuses on a specific facet of scientific communication networks, namely scientific co-authorship networks, based on the premise that scientific communication is the essence of research, and research is only known as such when it has been analyzed and accepted by the scientific community, which gives it the status of a social activity. As the author explains: "Our objective is to create specialized network-based visualizations, including diagrams of nodes and links that can be used as interfaces to retrieve information. These interfaces provide data on the element matrices and on the values of their attributes in a clear, easily understood, explanatory and interactive way. They facilitate an understanding of the structural context represented, transmitting detailed information to the user about a variety of aspects relating to scientific collaboration and its evolution over time, such as administrative position, gender, speciality areas of research and the internal and external association patterns among authors."

The visualization developed go beyond mere graphic representation to become knowledge instruments able to reflect the evolution of collaboration analyzed over time based on their own protagonists, emphasizing the often-expressed idea of science as a social system in which scientists exchange ideas, experiences, questions and solutions. Even though this evolution is static and historic, the observation of its trends over time is an invaluable tool for predictions and forecasts, in much the same way as weather maps are.

Comments (3):
"Little research has yet been conducted on scientific networking" -- are you kidding? There's a ton of literature on this back to the 1960s or further. I'm not saying that this work isn't innovative, but it is building on a long history of similar work.

Posted by Christina Pikas on Apr 22, 2008 at 1:36 PM (GMT)

Christina, this is the opinion of the author of the study, Antonio Perianes-Rodriguez, as you can read on the original paper: "Analysis and Visualization of Networks Applied to the Study of Scientific Collaboration in Research Groups". This view does not necessarily reflect my personal opinion. As you mentioned, many other studies have been made on the subject of scientific collaboration over the years. VC happens to include some projects under this theme: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Posted by Manuel Lima on Apr 23, 2008 at 12:50 PM (GMT)

We are drug discovery institute which is seeking help to develop a multiple plateau dynamic knowledge map of our drug discovery knowledge. Is this of interest to you? Please let us know. Thanks, Xavier Mensa Prous Institute

Posted by Xavier Mensa on Mar 6, 2009 at 12:28 PM (GMT)

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Manuel Lima | VisualComplexity.com