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.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1809.04093

Ethical Concerns in the Rise of Co-Authorship and Its Role as a Proxy of Research Collaborations

Author : Sameer Kumar

Increasing specialization, changes in the institutional incentives for publication, and a host of other reasons have brought about a marked trend towards co-authored articles among researchers.

These changes have impacted Science and Technology (S&T) policies worldwide. Co-authorship is often considered to be a reliable proxy for assessing research collaborations at micro, meso, and macro levels.

Although co-authorship in a scholarly publication brings numerous benefits to the participating authors, it has also given rise to issues of publication integrity, such as ghost authorships and honorary authorships.

The code of conduct of bodies such as the American Psychological Association (APA) and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) make it clear that only those who have significantly contributed to the study should be on the authorship list.

Those who have contributed little have to be appropriately “acknowledged” in footnotes or in the acknowledgement section. However, these principles are sometimes transgressed, and a complete solution still remains elusive.

URL : Ethical Concerns in the Rise of Co-Authorship and Its Role as a Proxy of Research Collaborations

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/publications6030037

Whose Infrastructure? Towards Inclusive and Collaborative Knowledge Infrastructures in Open Science

Authors : Angela Okune, Rebecca Hillyer, Denisse Albornoz, Alejandro Posada, Leslie Chan

The current discourse around Open Science has tended to focus on the creation of new technological platforms and tools to facilitate sharing and reuse of a wide range of research outputs.

There is an assumption that once these new tools are in place, researchers—and at times, members of the general public—will be able to participate in the creation of scientific knowledge in more accessible and efficient ways.

While many of these new tools have indeed assisted in the ease of collaboration through online spaces and mechanisms, the narrowness of how infrastructure is imagined by open science practitioners tends to put the use of technology ahead of the issues that people are actually trying to solve and fails to acknowledge the systemic constraints that exist within and between some communities.

Drawing on an analytical framework grounded in Black feminist intersectionality (Noble 2016), this paper highlights the need for more inclusive knowledge infrastructures, particularly in the context of sustainable development. Three case studies from the Open and Collaborative Science in Development Network (OCSDNet), are outlined in order to illustrate the importance of moving beyond a definition of infrastructure as merely a technical or physical entity.

These cases, arising from research conducted in South Africa, Brazil, and the Caribbean, demonstrate how more sustainable and nuanced forms of collaboration and participation may be enabled through broader understandings of knowledge infrastructures.

This paper further argues that leveraging the feminist concept of intersectionality when conceptualizing the development of knowledge infrastructures could be one way to move from narrow assumptions about standardized knowledge “users” towards more inclusive reimaginings of how knowledges can be produced and shared via networked technologies.

URL : https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01816808

Global Scholarly Collaboration: from Traditional Citation Practice to Direct Communication

Authors : Sergey Parinov, Victoria Antonova

The development of recent research information systems allows a transformation of citations in the full text of research papers into interactive elements. Such interactivity in some cases works as an instrument of direct scholarly communications between citing and cited authors.

We discuss this challenge for research e-infrastructure development including opportunities for improvements in research cooperation and in collaboration mechanisms for the global research community.

URL : https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01816700

Collaboration Diversity and Scientific Impact

Authors : Yuxiao Dong, Hao Ma, Jie Tang, Kuansan Wang

The shift from individual effort to collaborative output has benefited science, with scientific work pursued collaboratively having increasingly led to more highly impactful research than that pursued individually.

However, understanding of how the diversity of a collaborative team influences the production of knowledge and innovation is sorely lacking. Here, we study this question by breaking down the process of scientific collaboration of 32.9 million papers over the last five decades.

We find that the probability of producing a top-cited publication increases as a function of the diversity of a team of collaborators—namely, the distinct number of institutions represented by the team.

We discover striking phenomena where a smaller, yet more diverse team is more likely to generate highly innovative work than a relatively larger team within one institution.

We demonstrate that the synergy of collaboration diversity is universal across different generations, research fields, and tiers of institutions and individual authors.

Our findings suggest that collaboration diversity strongly and positively correlates with the production of scientific innovation, giving rise to the potential revolution of the policies used by funding agencies and authorities to fund research projects, and broadly the principles used to organize teams, organizations, and societies.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1806.03694

Choosing Collaboration Partners. How Scientific Success in Physics Depends on Network Positions

Authors : Raphael H. Heiberger, Oliver J. Wieczorek

Physics is one of the most successful endeavors in science. Being a prototypic big science it also reflects the growing tendency for scientific collaborations. Utilizing 250,000 papers from ArXiv.org a prepublishing platform prevalent in Physics we construct large coauthorship networks to investigate how individual network positions influence scientific success.

In this context, success is seen as getting a paper published in high impact journals of physical subdisciplines as compared to not getting it published at all or in rather peripheral journals only.

To control the nested levels of authors and papers, and to consider the time elapsing between working paper and prominent journal publication we employ multilevel eventhistory models with various network measures as covariates. Our results show that the maintenance of even a moderate number of persistent ties is crucial for scientific success.

Also, even with low volumes of social capital Physicists who occupy brokerage positions enhance their chances of articles in high impact journals significantly. Surprisingly, inter(sub)disciplinary collaborations decrease the probability of getting a paper published in specialized journals for almost all positions.

URL : http://arxiv.org/abs/1608.03251

The Scaling Relationship between Citation-Based Performance and Scientific Collaboration in Natural Sciences

The aim of this paper is to extend our knowledge about the power-law relationship between citation-based performance and collaboration patterns for papers of the Natural Sciences domain. We analyzed 829,924 articles that received 16,490,346 citations. The number of articles published through collaboration account for 89%. The citation-based performance and collaboration patterns exhibit a power-law correlation with a scaling exponent of 1.20, SD=0.07. We found that the Matthew effect is stronger for collaborated papers than for single-authored.

This means that the citations to a field research areas articles increase 2.30 times each time it doubles the number of collaborative papers. The scaling exponent for the power-law relationship for single-authored papers was 0.85, SD=0.11. The citations to a field research area single-authored articles increase 1.89 times each time the research area doubles the number of non-collaborative papers.

URL : http://arxiv.org/abs/1510.05266