, Volume 90, Issue 2, pp 631-647
Date: 20 Sep 2011

Collaboration structures in Slovenian scientific communities

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Abstract

We combine two seemingly distinct perspectives regarding the modeling of network dynamics. One perspective is found in the work of physicists and mathematicians who formally introduced the small world model and the mechanism of preferential attachment. The other perspective is sociological and focuses on the process of cumulative advantage and considers the agency of individual actors in a network. We test hypotheses, based on work drawn from these perspectives, regarding the structure and dynamics of scientific collaboration networks. The data we use are for four scientific disciplines in the Slovene system of science. The results deal with the overall topology of these networks and specific processes that generate them. The two perspectives can be joined to mutual benefit. Within this combined approach, the presence of small-world structures was confirmed. However preferential attachment is far more complex than advocates of a single autonomous mechanism claim.