Evolving collaboration networks in Scientometrics in 1978–2010: a micro–macro analysis

This paper reports first results on the interplay of different levels of the science system. Specifically, we would like to understand if and how collaborations at the author (micro) level impact collaboration patterns among institutions (meso) and countries (macro). All 2,541 papers (articles, proceedings papers, and reviews) published in the international journal Scientometrics from 1978–2010 are analyzed and visualized across the different levels and the evolving collaboration networks are animated over time. Studying the three levels in isolation we gain a number of insights: (1) USA, Belgium, and England dominated the publications in Scientometrics throughout the 33-year period, while the Netherlands and Spain were the subdominant countries; (2) the number of institutions and authors increased over time, yet the average number of papers per institution grew slowly and the average number of papers per author decreased in recent years; (3) a few key institutions, including Univ Sussex, KHBO, Katholieke Univ Leuven, Hungarian Acad Sci, and Leiden Univ, have a high centrality and betweenness, acting as gatekeepers in the collaboration network; (4) early key authors (Lancaster FW, Braun T, Courtial JP, Narin F, or VanRaan AFJ) have been replaced by current prolific authors (such as Rousseau R or Moed HF). Comparing results across the three levels reveals that results from one level might propagate to the next level, e.g., top rankings of a few key single authors can not only have a major impact on the ranking of their institution but also lead to a dominance of their country at the country level; movement of prolific authors among institutions can lead to major structural changes in the institution networks. To our knowledge, this is the most comprehensive and the only multi-level study of Scientometrics conducted to date.

Author(s): Yunwei Chen, Katy Borner, and Shu Fang
Organization(s): Chinese Academy of Sciences, Indiana University
Source: Scientometrics
Year: 2012


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