Visualizing Research Collaboration in Statistical Science: A Scientometric Perspective

By Das, Prabir Kumar | Library Philosophy and Practice, September 2019 | Go to article overview

Visualizing Research Collaboration in Statistical Science: A Scientometric Perspective


Das, Prabir Kumar, Library Philosophy and Practice


(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

1.Introduction

Phenomenal development of ICT (especially Internet, web2.0 and social networking technology) has drastically reduced the role of spatial boundaries for accessing information. This in turn have facilitates researchers of distant locations to interact easier than before. Nowadays, researchers of distant places interact frequently to brainstorm diverse problem with greater probability of success. Countries, all over the world have developed policies to foster cross-fertilization of intellectual assets. Research policy across the globe thus has become more focused on stimulating collaborative research. Therefore, collaboration has become the norm of current research towards knowledge economy. Reportedly, research collaboration being a multi-faceted abstraction, often been defined loosely in the literature. Generally, it can be described as a process of working together throughout a large part of the project, and collaborators are those who either initiate the project, or lead the project, or are responsible for the main part(s) of the project (Katz & Martin, 1997). Therefore, collaboration is an intense form of interaction that facilitates sharing of competence, skills and other resources. Researchers collaborate for variety of motivations and considerations like pooling of intellectual resources, sharing of overhead for expensive experiments, crossfertilization of thoughts, increased visibility and recognition (Frame & Carpenter, 1979). Though various fields of knowledge may exhibit different affinity towards collaborative activity, increasing collaboration is the norms of current research fraternity. Numerous studies have been undertaken to visualize and analyze the features of research collaboration among the affiliated countries and institutions. However, several factors like mutuality of interest, subject specialty, data resources, geographical proximity, cultural and linguistic diversity, political interference, socio-economic conditions and foreign policy are some of the basic determinants shaping the pattern of collaboration (Harirchi et al., 2007).

Conventionally, in an academic setup research publication is regarded as perceptible output of research project, and co-authorship is used as a proxy indicator for estimation of research collaboration. Moreover, ever-increasing trend of research collaboration across discipline has raised few pertinent concerns, for which there is hardly any consensus of opinions. In fact, there has been mixed opinion among researchers of various disciplines regarding the relationship between pattern of collaboration and its impact on quality of research (Nude, 2016). Studies have reported significant positive impact of collaboration on the citation in the disciplines of Economics (Levitt and Thelwall, 2010); Biology and Biochemistry (Didegah and Thelwall, 2013); Computer Science (Ibáñez et al., 2013); Library & Information Science (Patra, 2014) and (Abt, 1984). Conversely, good number of studies in the disciplines of Ecology (Leimu and Koricheva, 2005); Chemistry (Bornmann et al., 2012); Geography and Forestry (Slyder et al., 2011); Social Psychology (Haslam et al., 2008) identifies no significant correlation exists between these two variables. Therefore, there has been little consensus about the proposition that collaboration boosts or fosters citation across domains. However, in spite of numerous studies, no such effort had been ventured in the area of statistics to address the issue.

2.Research Collaboration in Statistical Science

There has been considerable ambiguity among world statistician viewpoints regarding precise interpretation of the term 'Statistics'. According to ASA President Marie Davidian, "Statistics is the science of learning from data, and of measuring, controlling and communicating uncertainty." (Davidian and Louis, 2012). Generally, "Statistics at its best provides methodology for dealing empirically with complicated and uncertain information, in a way that is both useful and scientifically valid " (Chambers, 1993). …

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