Blockmodeling of co-authorship networks in library and information science in Argentina: a case study
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The paper introduces the use of blockmodeling in the micro-level study of the internal structure of co-authorship networks over time. Variations in scientific productivity and researcher or research group visibility were determined by observing authors’ role in the core-periphery structure and crossing this information with bibliometric data. Three techniques were applied to represent the structure of collaborative science: (1) the blockmodeling; (2) the Kamada-Kawai algorithm based on the similarities in co-authorships present in the documents analysed; (3) bibliometrics to determine output volume, impact and degree of collaboration from the bibliographic data drawn from publications. The goal was to determine the extent to which the use of these two complementary approaches, in conjunction with bibliometric data, provides greater insight into the structure and characteristics of a given field of scientific endeavour. The paper describes certain features of Pajek software and how it can be used to study research group composition, structure and dynamics. The approach combines bibliometric and social network analysis to explore scientific collaboration networks and monitor individual and group careers from new perspectives. Its application on a small-scale case study is intended as an example and can be used in other disciplines. It may be very useful for the appraisal of scientific developments.
KeywordsScientific collaboration Bibliometrics Blockmodeling Social network analysis
The authors wish to thank Claudia González for compiling the data, Vladimir Batagelj for his technical support and suggestions, anonymous referees for comments that improved the present analysis and Margaret Clark for editing the English text. This research was partially funded by the Spanish National Research Council under the project entitled “Generación de herramientas cienciométricas para el análisis de la colaboración científica” (Proyecto Intramural CSIC 200810I210).
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