Cite this Article
Combining Brokerage and Bonding in Co-Authorship: A Useful Strategy of Social Capital Accumulation. Journal of Scientometric Research. 2017;6(3):176-185. doi:10.5530/jscires.6.3.25..
This study explores the relationship between co-authorship tendencies and research productivity. The study uses Coleman’s and Burt’s theories of social capital to explain how productivity arises from co-authorship and to distinguish between co-authorship tendencies. The data was obtained from the ISI Web of Science and included bibliographic records of scholarly articles published in leading Russian journals in cardiology during the period 2004-2009. The study was conducted in two phases. First, methods from social network analysis were used to determine co-authorship tendencies of each researcher in the dataset. Second, descriptive and inferential statistics (analysis of variance) were applied to determine the distribution of researchers across types of co-authorship tendencies and to assess the relationship between the tendencies and individual research productivity. A key finding of the study is that all hypothesized co-authorship tendencies are present in the field of Russian cardiologic research, although to a different extent. The most common form of co-authorship among the authors publishing in the Russian cardiologic journals was the combination tendency, with the bonding tendency being most underutilized. Finally, our analysis revealed significant difference in mean productivity levels among the co-authorship tendencies. The mean level of productivity for bridging co-authorship tendency was the highest among all the tendencies, while the mean level of productivity for bonding strategy was the lowest. The study confirmed the results of prior studies that co-authorships, in which a researcher serves as a broker among otherwise disconnected researchers, are more productive, indicating that serving as a broker creates more social capital than maintaining cohesive ties.