A two-level blockmodeling of scientific collaborations of Slovenian researchers and institutions

Marjan Cugmas, Ales Žiberna, Anuška Ferligoj

Contact: marjan.cugmas@fdv.uni-lj.si

Understanding scientific collaboration (SC) patterns among researchers on different social levels is fundamental for the development and successful implementation of the R&D policies. Therefore, the aim of the presented study is to provide a simultaneous insight into the SC patterns among individual researchers (individual level) and among institutions (institutional level). Considering different social levels is especially important because collaborations on different levels are interdependent. In this study, SC on an individual level is operationalized by co-authorship of scientific paper while two institutions are said to collaborate if they jointly applied for a research project. The data for the analysis were retrieved by Slovene information systems that contains information (including personal bibliographies) about all researches and organizations that are registered at the Slovene research agency (ARRS). Based on these data, the two-level collaboration networks were formed for the researchers that are classified under the field of Social sciences according to the ARRS classification scheme and their institutions. The data for the period between 1995 and 2015 are analysed by using k-means-based blockmodeling approach for linked networks (Žiberna, 2019) that enable to simultaneously blockmodel different levels of multi-level networks. The results for the individual level, institutional level and two-mode network connecting them are interpreted. On the individual level, a typical multi-core—semi-periphery structure of SC appears. The researchers within the core groups are internally well linked while the ones from semi-periphery are generally less linked to each other. Some researchers from different core groups are more or less linked to each other. On the institutional level, a core-cohesive structure (Cugmas et al., 2020) can be recognized. This is a structure with (i) a group of internally and externally highly linked institutions (called core group), and (ii) several cohesive groups that are linked to the core group but not to the other cohesive groups. A group of organizations, that are generally not linked to other institutions, and several organizations that are clustered in their own clusters also appear. The analysis of the two-mode network reveals that the clustering of researchers in is in a large part determined by their institution membership.

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