This project’s distinct approach, with its close integration of quantitative analysis of large publication networks with qualitative ethnographic field studies, will seek to develop an interdisciplinary approach to study and compare time-based dimensions of scientific collaboration across research fields.
The research will generate snapshots of collaborative structures and track the evolution of these alliances at multiple points, including the formation of teams, emergence of sub communities and field-wide trends. The project will also search for patterns of temporal rhythms that are field- or community-specific in collaboration networks.
The project builds on the research team’s prior ethnographic fieldwork in disturbance ecology and cluster sciences of chemistry and physics. These fields were chosen due to evidence of significant variations in the rhythms of collaboration in each field. For example, while research in cluster science is often characterized by regular bursts in team activity, disturbance ecology demonstrates irregular patterns of research activity triggered by events such as fires, windstorms or other ecological disturbances. Another aspect of the project will explore potential benefits of adding further data types to network analysis and adding mutual citation to extend the network analytic approach.