Assessing Research Collaboration through Co-authorship Network Analysis
Fagan, JM; Eddens, K; Dolly, J; et al.Vanderford, N; Weiss, H; Levens, J
Date: 1 April 2018
The Journal of Research Administration
Society of Research Administrators International
Interdisciplinary research collaboration is needed to perform transformative science and accelerate innovation. The Science of Team Science strives to investigate, evaluate, and foster team science, including institutional policies that may promote or hinder collaborative interdisciplinary research and the resources and infrastructure ...
Interdisciplinary research collaboration is needed to perform transformative science and accelerate innovation. The Science of Team Science strives to investigate, evaluate, and foster team science, including institutional policies that may promote or hinder collaborative interdisciplinary research and the resources and infrastructure needed to promote team science within and across institutions. Social network analysis (SNA) has emerged as a useful method to measure interdisciplinary science through the evaluation of several types of collaboration networks, including co-authorship networks. Likewise, research administrators are responsible for conducting rigorous evaluation of policies and initiatives. Within this paper, we present a case study using SNA to evaluate interprogrammatic collaboration (evidenced by co-authoring scientific papers) from 2007-2014 among scientists who are members of four formal research programs at an NCI-designated Cancer Center, the Markey Cancer Center (MCC) at the University of Kentucky. We evaluate change in network descriptives over time and implement separable temporal exponential-family random graph models (STERGMs) to estimate the effect of author and network variables on the tendency to form a co-authorship tie. We measure the diversity of the articles published over time (Blau's Index) to understand whether the changes in the co-authorship network are reflected in the diversity of articles published by research members. Over the 8-year period, we found increased inter-programmatic collaboration among research members as evidenced by co-authorship of published scientific papers. Over time, MCC Members collaborated more with others outside of their research program and outside their initial dense co-authorship groups, however tie formation continues to be driven by co-authoring with individuals of the same research program and academic department. Papers increased in diversity over time on all measures with the exception of author gender. This inter-programmatic research was fostered by policy changes in cancer center administration encouraging interdisciplinary research through both informal (e.g., annual retreats, seminar series) and formal (e.g., requiring investigators from more than two research programs on applications for pilot funding) means. Within this cancer center, interdisciplinary co-authorship increased over time as policies encouraging this collaboration were implemented. Yet, there is room for improvement in creating more interdisciplinary and diverse ties between research program members.
Item views 0
Full item downloads 0