Is together better? Examining scientific collaborations across multiple authors, institutions, and departments

Authors : Lovenoor Aulck, Kishore Vasan, Jevin West

Collaborations are an integral part of scientific research and publishing. In the past, access to large-scale corpora has limited the ways in which questions about collaborations could be investigated. However, with improvements in data/metadata quality and access, it is possible to explore the idea of research collaboration in ways beyond the traditional definition of multiple authorship.

In this paper, we examine scientific works through three different lenses of collaboration: across multiple authors, multiple institutions, and multiple departments. We believe this to be a first look at multiple departmental collaborations as we employ extensive data curation to disambiguate authors’ departmental affiliations for nearly 70,000 scientific papers.

We then compare citation metrics across the different definitions of collaboration and find that papers defined as being collaborative were more frequently cited than their non-collaborative counterparts, regardless of the definition of collaboration used.

We also share preliminary results from examining the relationship between co-citation and co-authorship by analyzing the extent to which similar fields (as determined by co-citation) are collaborating on works (as determined by co-authorship).

These preliminary results reveal trends of compartmentalization with respect to intra-institutional collaboration and show promise in being expanded.


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