Keywords: economics of science, scientific communities, academic collaboration, social network analysis, academic research, publication behaviour, research laboratories, university research, cooperation, collaborative research
Do academic laboratories correspond to scientific communities? Evidence from a large European university
Although acknowledged as central in the economic literature, the issue of intra-academic collaboration has been, so far, relatively overlooked. Most studies focused either at the individual level or the level of the research unit, but very few tried to investigate the level where collaboration takes place. This paper fills this gap by stressing the importance of communities in academic research. We analyse the publication behaviour of researchers from a large European scientific university by using the methodology of social network analysis. We argue that in certain cases, the community level constitutes a relevant level for analysing the collaborative nature of scientific investigation. Indeed, the reality of research collaborations does not always fit the institutional division of academic work provided by laboratories.