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Fragmented Romanian sociology: growth and structure of the collaboration network
Marian-Gabriel Hâncean, Matjaž Perc, Lazǎr Vlǎsceanu, 2014, original scientific article

Abstract: Structural patterns in collaboration networks are essential for understanding how new ideas, research practices, innovation or cooperation circulate and develop within academic communities and between and within university departments. In our research, we explore and investigate the structure of the collaboration network formed by the academics working full-time within all the 17 sociology departments across Romania. We show that the collaboration network is sparse and fragmented, and that it constitutes an environment that does not promote the circulation of new ideas and innovation within the field. Although recent years have witnessed an increase in the productivity of Romanian sociologists, there is still ample room for improvement in terms of the interaction infrastructure that ought to link individuals together so that they could maximize their potentials. We also fail to discern evidence in favor of the Matthew effect governing the growth of the network, which suggests scientific success and productivity are not rewarded. Instead, the structural properties of the collaboration network are partly those of a core-periphery network, where the spread of innovation and change can be explained by structural equivalence rather than by interpersonal influence models. We also provide support for the idea that, within the observed network, collaboration is the product of homophily rather than prestige effects. Further research on the subject based on data from other countries in the region is needed to place our results in a comparative framework, in particular to discern whether the behavior of the Romanian sociologist community is unique or rather common.
Keywords: collaboration network, small-world network, community structure, sociology, network science
Published: 19.06.2017; Views: 591; Downloads: 341
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