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Visibility of collaboration on the Web

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The emerging influence of new information and communication technologies (ICT) on collaboration in science and technology has to be considered. In particular, the question of the extent to which collaboration in science and in technology is visible
  COLLNET. Part I: Visibility of Collaboration on the Web Hildrun Kretschmer 1,2 1 NIWI, The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, PO Box 95110, 1090 HC Amsterdam, The Netherlands E-mail:  2 COLLNET, Borgsdorfer Str. 5, D-16540 Hohen Neuendorf, Germany E-mail: Isidro F. Aguillo 3 3 CINDOC, Calle Joaquin Costa, 22 28002 Madrid, Spain E-mail: Abstract The emerging influence of new information and communication technologies (ICT) on collaboration in science and technology has to be considered. In particular, the question of the extent to which collaboration in science and in technology is visible on the Web needs examining. Thus the purpose of this study is to examine whether broadly similar results would occur if solely Web data was used rather than all available bibliometric co-authorship data. For this purpose a new approach of Web visibility indicators of collaboration is examined. The ensemble of COLLNET members is used to compare co-authorship patterns in traditional bibliometric databases and the network visible on the Web. One of the general empirical results is a high percentage (78%) of all bibliographic multi- authored publications become visible through search of engines in the Web. One of the special studies has shown Web visibility of collaboration is dependent on the type of bibliographic multi-authored papers. The social network analysis (SNA) is applied to comparisons between bibliographic and Web collaboration networks. Structure formation processes in bibliographic and Web networks are studied. The research question posed is to which extent collaboration structures visible in the Web change their shape in the same way as bibliographic collaboration networks over time. A number of special types of changes in bibliographic and Web structures are explained. Introduction With the importance of collaboration in research and technology growing world-wide, it has become necessary to examine the processes involved in order to become aware of the implications for the future organization of research as well as those for science and technology policy.This has led to an increase in the number of scientific studies of this topic internationally. (Glanzel 2002, Borgman, C.L. & Furner, J. 2002). The outstanding works of Donald deB. Beaver (1978), Derek John de Solla Price (1963) and others on the topic of collaboration in science have, over a number of years, encouraged a number of scientists working in the field of quantitative scientific research to concentrate their research in this field. This has led both to an increase in the number of relevant publications concerning this topic in international magazines, and to an increase in the number of lectures in  international conferences (Basu 2001, Braun et. al. 2001, Davis 2001, Havemann 2001, Wagner- Döbler 2001, Kundra & Tomov 2001). The emergence of the Internet and the Web have led to changes in the process of scholarly publishing and communication, in the way that scientists and scholars search for and find information about patterns of national and international collaboration ( Herring 2002,  Ingwersen 1998, Kling & McKim 2000). The influence of these new information and communication technologies (ICT) on collaboration in science and technology has also to be considered in light of the work on the topic of collaboration patterns, especially the question of the extent to which collaboration in science and in technology is visible on the Web. Therefore in the year 2000 the time had come to create a global interdisciplinary research network, COLLNET, on the topic "Collaboration in Science and in Technology" made up of 64 members from 20 countries of all continents. The members intended to co-operate on both theoretical and applied aspects on the topic "Collaboration in Science and in Technology" (Kretschmer, Liang & Kundra 2001). The focus of this group is to examine the phenomena of collaboration in science, its effect on productivity, innovation and quality, and the benefits and outcomes accruing to individuals, institutions and nations of collaborative work and co-authorship in science as well as collaboration in e-science (More details of COLLNET, see website: The EU has recently financed a new project (WISER) to further investigate the potential of creating new indicators of the Web for use in science and technology policy making. The study of collaboration in e-science is one focus of this project including the question of the extent to which collaboration structures visible in the Web follow similar rules as collaboration networks measured by traditional bibliometric data. About the half of the EU-project members are COLLNET members, too. Therefore, in a pilot study, the co-authorship network of all of the COLLNET members from bibliometric data has been compared with the co-authorship network from webometric data. New webometric indicators are defined to measure the visibility of collaboration in the Web. COLLNET was selected for testing these new webometric indicators because of our personal familiarity with the COLLNET members, which gives rise to the possibility to make personal requests during testing. In addition, background information and explanations of special changes in both bibliometric and webometric network structures over a longer time period are possible. Social network analysis (SNA) was used for the analysis of both the collaboration network measured by traditional bibliometric data and Web collaboration network. The research question posed is to which extent collaboration structures visible in the Web follow the same rules as collaboration networks measured by traditional bibliometric data. Thus, the purpose of the study is to examine if we would get broadly similar results when just using Web data than all data. Data  The last COLLNET data are from June 2003.    Sample Set The bibliographies and Web data of the 64 COLLNET members were examined, under them: - 26 female and 38 male scientists - 30 members from the European Union (EU) and 34 from non-European Union countries (N) From the 34 members from the non-European Union countries (N) we have : - 3 from Australia - 7 from America (4 of them from North America) - 19 from Asia - 4 from Eastern Europe - 1 from South Africa  Bibliometric Data An usual, the bibliometric method for the study of collaboration is the investigation of co-authorships. Collaboration between countries, collaboration between institutions, or collaboration between individual scientists is examined in the literature (Glanzel 2002). In the present paper collaboration between COLLNET members is studied. Beyond co-authored articles registered in SCI- or other data banks, the range of entire collaboration between scientists is also reflected in all other publications, such as jointly authored books, manuscripts, etc. Assuming that the reflection of collaboration in the Web is not limited to articles in SCI- or other data bases, a request was made to all the 64 COLLNET members for their complete bibliographies, independently of the type of the publications and independently from the date of appearance of these publications. As, for example, the range of collaboration between two scientists is much broader when writing a common book than when writing an article, this fact should become visible also in the Web. From these bibliographies all publications were selected that appeared in co-authorship between at least two COLLNET members. Thus, it concerns 223 bibliographic multi-authored publications. From this, the respective number of common publications between two members was determined as the basis for the analysis of the co-authorship network. The co-authorship network developed according to this method covers the entire lifetime collaboration between the COLLNET members. Webometric Data Two different kinds of data collection for the study of collaboration in e-science are presented. On the one hand Web hyperlinks between homepages of scientists are collected and on the other new Web visibility indicators of collaboration are the basis for the data collection.   Homepages of COLLNET Members and Web Hyperlinks Terveen and Hill (1998) report on an empirical investigation into emergent collaboration: ''Links between web sites can be seen as evidence of a type of emergent collaboration among web site authors''. The authors have used SNA for analysis of the link structures. It was intended to use the same method for the analysis of hyperlink structures between the homepages of the COLLNET members. 17 COLLNET members had placed homepages on the Internet. However there were not any links between the homepages!  New Web Visibility Indicators of Collaboration According to Vaughan and Shaw (2003) Web citations refer to Web text citations or mentions of published papers on the Web. These authors searched for citations to each article on the Web, using the Google search engine. The search strategy was to enter the article title in quotation marks (i.e. phrase search in Google). Among others there are different categories of citing items, for example the citation of a publication in the on-line version of an article or lists of bibliographies for the students or publication lists in own homepage, etc. Vaughan and Shaw ‟s m ethod of searching article quotations in the Web ( Web citations ) was used successfully with the additional use of the Alltheweb search engine (, albeit in a slightly modified form, to measure the visibility of the collaboration in the Web  with the following definitions of new indicators: - The Web visibility rate of a multi-authored publication won by bibliographic data (WVP)  is measured as a frequency of the different Websites on which this bibliographic publication is mentioned after entering the full title of the co-authored publication into Google or Alltheweb. - The Web visibility rate of a pair of collaborators (WVC)   is equal to the sum of Web visibility rates, WVP, of all of their co-authored publications. In contrast to the measurement of Web citations by Vaughan and Shaw, who cite all pages of web sites on which an article is mentioned, here only the number of different Web sites on which a multi-authored publication is mentioned is used for measurement of Web visibility of bibliographic multi-authored publications. This decision was made as some Website authors presented, at the same time, the same list of publications on several pages, only under different criteria of arrangement, for example the publication list in the CV: on a page "chronological" and on another page of the same Website "by subject". On the other hand, there are some reasons to count all pages of all Web sites as done by Vaughan and Shaw as there are, for example, authors of Websites who have published two or more different articles on different pages on-line. If the same other publication is cited in these different online articles on the different pages (bibliographic coupling), then all these pages are counted and this other publication receives the appropriate number of Web citations.  By way of an example of the present study for the measurement of the Web visibility of bibliographic multi- authored publications of the COLLNET members, the number of different Websites was selected as a method after detailed examination of the empirical results because there is a difference between counting Web citations and visibility of collaboration. In further investigations, however, the question of the best suitable method should be revisited, as it deals here with a pilot study with first results in the available paper. Methods and Results In this paper, general results arising from testing Web hyperlinks and Web visibility indicators as possible suitable data collection strategies for the investigation of collaboration in e-science are presented. In addition, findings of the dependence of Web visibility on the type of the bibliographic multi-authored papers are also presented. Social network analysis (SNA) is applied to a comparison between bibliographic and Web collaboration networks. Moreover, developmental and structural formation processes in bibliographic and Web networks are studied General Results  Homepages and Web Hyperlinks From the 17 COLLNET members, who homepages on the Internet, are: - 7 female (= 27% of the 26 female members) and 10 male (= 26% of the 38 males) - 12 members from European Union countries (= 40% of the 30 European Union members) and 5 members from N countries (=15 percent of the 34 members from the non- EU countries) While there appeared to be no difference between the female and male members, a tendency is apparent in favour of the EU when compared to the non- EU countries. A Chi-square test was performed on the EU/N data and the result shows a significant (p<0.01) difference between EU and N countries. It would be interesting to perform a similar investigation on a larger sample in the future. The partitioning of European Union and non-European Union countries took place as Vaughan and Shaw found out that the number of Web citations through EU Websites is the highest, followed by North America. They refer to a "general pattern relatively lower Web penetration and use beyond Europe and North America". This is in agreement, for example, with a comparison of the Websites of the universities in the UK with the Websites of the Indian universities (Kretschmer & Thelwall 2003). Due to the geographical proximity of the possible COLLNET co-authors in the EU and additionally due to the small number of COLLNET members from North America (only 4 members) only a rough partitioning was made for the investigation, i.e. EU and non EU countries. This division can be done in a more detailed manner in future investigations.
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