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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Jan 16;98(2):404-9. Epub 2001 Jan 9.

The structure of scientific collaboration networks.

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  • 1Santa Fe Institute, 1399 Hyde Park Road, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA. mark@santafe.edu

Abstract

The structure of scientific collaboration networks is investigated. Two scientists are considered connected if they have authored a paper together and explicit networks of such connections are constructed by using data drawn from a number of databases, including MEDLINE (biomedical research), the Los Alamos e-Print Archive (physics), and NCSTRL (computer science). I show that these collaboration networks form "small worlds," in which randomly chosen pairs of scientists are typically separated by only a short path of intermediate acquaintances. I further give results for mean and distribution of numbers of collaborators of authors, demonstrate the presence of clustering in the networks, and highlight a number of apparent differences in the patterns of collaboration between the fields studied.

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