A social network analysis fo the CSCW community
Examinations of research communities is something I like to have a glance at, especially when it comes to my field of research. I ran across this relevant paper: Six degrees of Jonathan Grudin: A social network analysis of the evolution and impact of CSCW research by Daniel B. Horn, Thomas A. Finholt, Jeremy Birnholtz, Dheeraj Motwani, Swapnaa Jayaraman. The point of the article is to describe the evolution and impact of computersupported cooperative work (CSCW) research through social network analysis of coauthorship data. This seems to be an interesting approach, different from regualr bibliometrical appraoches. Some excerpts I found relevant:
The field of computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) has an intense interest in studying collaborative practices, yet ironically, CSCW researchers remain unreflective about the structure and impact of their own collaborations. This indifference is in contrast to recent efforts in other disciplines, notably physics, where there is a growing literature on the organization and evolution of collaborations [4, 25]. Social network analysis is the primary lens used to understand patterns of collaborations in these other fields. (...) Given the tools and measures described above [Social Network Analysis], the interesting question becomes how to use these techniques to address hypotheses about the formation, structure, and impact of the CSCW research community. The motivation for examining CSCW researchers is twofold. First, as members of this community, we are curious about the origins and elaboration of the CSCW field. Second, in a more general sense, the emergence of CSCW research is an instance of the broader phenomenon of new disciplines forming at the intersection of existing fields. CSCW community composition over time. (...) we were able to create a picture of how cosmopolitan CSCW research was at any given moment between 1986 and 2003. (...) The data for this study came from the database of HCI publications supported by ACM and maintained by Gary Perlman at http://www.hcibib.org, which includes entries for journal articles, books, book chapters, conference proceedings, videos, and web sites (...) [Results] with respect to the ties between the CSCW community and the larger HCI community, CSCW researchers have maintained a steady association with the HCI world. That is, during the period when CSCW emerged as a separate sub-field, CSCW researchers had roughly equal numbers of CSCW coauthors and HCI coauthors. (...) Second, with respect to size and composition of the CSCW community over time, the community appears to be shrinking and has replaced itself almost completely over the preceding decade. (...) Third, with respect to the visibility of CSCW researchers within the HCI community, researchers central to the CSCW community tended to be central within the HCI community.
The extracted words above are a bit limited since the paper is full of interesting other things.