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Scientometrics. 2010 Sep;84(3):687-701. Epub 2009 Dec 31.

Collaboration in sensor network research: an in-depth longitudinal analysis of assortative mixing patterns.

Abstract

Many investigations of scientific collaboration are based on statistical analyses of large networks constructed from bibliographic repositories. These investigations often rely on a wealth of bibliographic data, but very little or no other information about the individuals in the network, and thus, fail to illustrate the broader social and academic landscape in which collaboration takes place. In this article, we perform an in-depth longitudinal analysis of a relatively small network of scientific collaboration (N = 291) constructed from the bibliographic record of a research centerin the development and application of wireless and sensor network technologies. We perform a preliminary analysis of selected structural properties of the network, computing its range, configuration and topology. We then support our preliminary statistical analysis with an in-depth temporal investigation of the assortative mixing of selected node characteristics, unveiling the researchers' propensity to collaborate preferentially with others with a similar academic profile. Our qualitative analysis of mixing patterns offers clues as to the nature of the scientific community being modeled in relation to its organizational, disciplinary, institutional, and international arrangements of collaboration.

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