The University of Florida is home to many interested in research and service projects in the area of network analysis.
The Journal Club on Social Networks and Relational Sociology gathers an interdisciplinary group of students, faculty and staff who are interested in social network theories and methods. For more information and the meeting schedule, check out their webpage.
BEBR’s Social Networks program offers personal and professional network analysis and visualization, as well as recommendations for network interventions.
In the area of academic research, collaboration occurs in teams and networks of researchers, and studying these networks helps monitor and drive research productivity at a university. In 2012, BEBR and the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) started a project aimed at mapping, visualizing, analyzing, and shaping collaboration networks at UF. Since then, BEBR has collaborated with several entities at UF in creating network profiles and network intervention studies. These activities have resulted in several published articles and presentations at international conferences.
For more information about the services BEBR’s Social Networks program offers, contact us.
The aim of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of the structural evolution of scientific collaboration networks. A large body of literature has focused on the structure and evolution of co-authorship networks, typically examining networks within a specific discipline, but spanning different academic organizations. By contrast, this paper narrows its focus to a single academic organization (the University of Florida), but expands the network boundary in two ways: including collaborations among scientists in many different disciplines; and examining three dimensions or layers of scientific collaboration, namely, co-authorship on peer-reviewed scientific articles, co-participation in awarded grants, and co-membership in PhD/Master committees.
We used publicly available data on UF publications and grants to extract networks of collaborations among UF researchers in 2008-2012. This allowed us to define network metrics on collaboration, which can be used to evaluate and monitor the activity of specific research institutes. As an example, we apply some of these collaboration metrics to the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute.
Social Network Analysis is not just about describing and explaining networks, it is also about using networks for specific interventions with specific goals. Network interventions have traditionally been designed and tested in the health sciences to block contagions or spread healthy practices, and in management and business administration to improve the economic performance of organizations. We explored ways of intervening on research collaboration networks to improve the scientific productivity of a university.