, Volume 98, Issue 2, pp 1505–1520 | Cite as

Atapuerca: evolution of scientific collaboration in an emergent large-scale research infrastructure

  • Sergi LozanoEmail author
  • Xosé-Pedro Rodríguez
  • Alex Arenas


We study the evolution of scientific collaboration at Atapuerca’s archaeological complex along its emergence as a large-scale research infrastructure (LSRI). Using bibliometric and fieldwork data, we build and analyze co-authorship networks corresponding to the period 1992–2011. The analysis of such structures reveals a stable core of scholars with a long experience in Atapuerca’s fieldwork, which would control coauthorship-related information flows, and a tree-like periphery mostly populated by ‘external’ researchers. Interestingly, this scenario corresponds to the idea of a Equipo de Investigación de Atapuerca, originally envisioned by Atapuerca’s first director 30 years ago. These results have important systemic implications, both in terms of resilience of co-authorship structures and of ‘oriented’ or ‘guided’ self-organized network growth. Taking into account the scientific relevance of LSRIs, we expect a growing number of quantitative studies addressing collaboration among scholars in this sort of facilities in general and, particularly, emergent phenomena like the Atapuerca case.


Emergent large-scale research infrastructures Scientific collaboration dynamics Co-authorship Network analysis Atapuerca 



The authors want to thank Javier Fernández López de Pablo and Ignasi Pastó for fruitful discussions, and the two anonymous referees for their valuable comments on the manuscript. This work has been partially supported by the Spanish DGICYT Grants CGL2012-38434-C03-03 and FIS2012-38266, the Generalitat de Catalunya Grants 2009-SGR-188 and 2009-SGR-838, as well as the FP7-FET Project PLEXMATH. Sergi Lozano acknowledges the Beatriu de Pinós post-doctoral research fellowship (Generalitat de Catalunya and COFUND Marie Curie Actions, EU-FP7), and Alex Arenas the financial support from ICREA Academia and James S. McDonnell Foundation. Fieldwork at Atapuerca is supported by Junta de Castilla y León and Fundación Atapuerca.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sergi Lozano
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Xosé-Pedro Rodríguez
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alex Arenas
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.IPHES, Institut Catala de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució SocialTarragonaSpain
  2. 2.Area de PrehistoriaUniversitat Rovira i Virgili (URV)TarragonaSpain
  3. 3.Departament dEnginyeria Informatica i MatematiquesUniversitat Rovira i VirgiliTarragonaSpain
  4. 4.Institute for Biocomputation and Physics of Complex Systems (BIFI)University of ZaragozaSaragossaSpain

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