Comparing Fields of Sciences: Multilevel Networks of Research Collaborations in Italian Academia

  • Bellotti E
  • Guadalupi L
  • Conaldi G
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In this chapter we model the multilevel structure of scientific work, looking at social networks of collaborations between scientists, and at how these networks are embedded in disciplinary and organizational levels. Once the relational structure of scientific collaboration is described, we look at the role that it plays in scholars' successes. We adopt the linked-design approach to analyse the local system of public funding to academic disciplines in Italy using bipartite networks across disciplinary areas. We thus analyse the mechanisms that lie beyond the structure of research project collaborations in Italian academia. We find that individual attributes (being a national coordinator, a full professor, and having being promoted) play a role in getting funded. It is however the position of being a broker across otherwise unconnected research groups that makes a difference in the total amount of funding received by a scientist over the years under analysis, in some cases combined with egonet closure. These results confirm the importance of looking at individual network properties when analyzing scientific collaborations. Leadership is a characteristic that seems to be related both to career achievements (becoming a full professor) and to the capability of attracting multiple research groups for scientific collaborations.




Bellotti, E., Guadalupi, L., & Conaldi, G. (2016). Comparing Fields of Sciences: Multilevel Networks of Research Collaborations in Italian Academia. In Multilevel Network Analysis for the Social Sciences (pp. 213–244). Springer International Publishing.

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