, Volume 101, Issue 1, pp 203–239 | Cite as

The academic social network

  • Tom Z. J. Fu
  • Qianqian Song
  • Dah Ming Chiu


By means of their academic publications, authors form a social network. Instead of sharing casual thoughts and photos (as in Facebook), authors select co-authors and reference papers written by other authors. Thanks to various efforts (such as Microsoft Academic Search and DBLP), the data necessary for analyzing the academic social network is becoming more available on the Internet. What type of information and queries would be useful for users to discover, beyond the search queries already available from services such as Google Scholar? In this paper, we explore this question by defining a variety of ranking metrics on different entities—authors, publication venues, and institutions. We go beyond traditional metrics such as paper counts, citations, and h-index. Specifically, we define metrics such as influence, connections, and exposure for authors. An author gains influence by receiving more citations, but also citations from influential authors. An author increases his or her connections by co-authoring with other authors, and especially from other authors with high connections. An author receives exposure by publishing in selective venues where publications have received high citations in the past, and the selectivity of these venues also depends on the influence of the authors who publish there. We discuss the computation aspects of these metrics, and the similarity between different metrics. With additional information of author-institution relationships, we are able to study institution rankings based on the corresponding authors’ rankings for each type of metric as well as different domains. We are prepared to demonstrate these ideas with a web site ( built from millions of publications and authors.


Academic social network Influence Ranking 



We appreciate the support from the Technology Transfer Office (TBF13ENG004) of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. We also appreciate the valuable comments provided by the reviewers.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Illinois at Singapore Pte Ltd, Advanced Digital Sciences Center (ADSC)SingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Department of Information EngineeringThe Chinese University of Hong KongShatinHong Kong
  3. 3.Department of Information EngineeringThe Chinese University of Hong KongShatinHong Kong

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