Social network analysis in Geosciences: scientific collaboration between periglacial scholars in the Iberian Peninsula

C. García-Hernández, J. Ruiz-Fernández, E. Serrano-Cañadas

Abstract


This research examines the collaboration relationships between those authors affiliated to Iberian institutions and involved in periglacial studies between 2000 and 2017. The data has been extracted from the Google Scholar database and processed using Social Network Analysis (SNA) techniques. A total of 230 scientific publications have been selected, involving 198 researchers of which 113 belong to Spanish institutions, 38 to Portuguese institutions and 47 to foreign institutions. The work carried out by the Iberian community (assembled through national groups linked to the International Permafrost Association) has considerably improved its possibilities of dissemination and citation in this period: There has been an increase in the number of publications per year, in the number of authors per publication, and in the number of publications with international collaboration. Nowadays there is a group of very productive and well-connected authors, who play an important role as intermediaries, and future prospects are good. However, 50% of the authors have a low capacity for interaction, and there is a low presence of women in the network: These imbalances should constitute the main challenges to be faced by the Iberian community in the next decade. Beyond the Iberian community of periglacial scholars, this study provides an example of methodology to be applied in other co-authorship networks in subdisciplines of the Earth Sciences, and its results are discussed in this sense. The results of this research offer valuable information for the management of scientific collaboration programs, the selection of representatives and to weigh the possibilities and needs of the Iberian network. But, especially, it presents a socioscientific framework of reference for early career scientists and makes them aware of the need to integrate themselves into a booming scientific community.

Keywords


Social Network Analysis; scientific collaboration; coauthorship network; periglacial studies; permafrost; Iberian Peninsula

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18172/cig.3939

Copyright (c) 2020 C. García-Hernández, J. Ruiz-Fernández, E. Serrano-Cañadas

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