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Co‐contributorship network and division of labor in individual scientific collaborations

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Listed:
  • Chao Lu
  • Yingyi Zhang
  • Yong‐Yeol Ahn
  • Ying Ding
  • Chenwei Zhang
  • Dandan Ma

Abstract

Collaborations are pervasive in current science. Collaborations have been studied and encouraged in many disciplines. However, little is known about how a team really functions from the detailed division of labor within. In this research, we investigate the patterns of scientific collaboration and division of labor within individual scholarly articles by analyzing their co‐contributorship networks. Co‐contributorship networks are constructed by performing the one‐mode projection of the author–task bipartite networks obtained from 138,787 articles published in PLoS journals. Given an article, we define 3 types of contributors: Specialists, Team‐players, and Versatiles. Specialists are those who contribute to all their tasks alone; team‐players are those who contribute to every task with other collaborators; and versatiles are those who do both. We find that team‐players are the majority and they tend to contribute to the 5 most common tasks as expected, such as “data analysis” and “performing experiments.” The specialists and versatiles are more prevalent than expected by our designed 2 null models. Versatiles tend to be senior authors associated with funding and supervision. Specialists are associated with 2 contrasting roles: the supervising role as team leaders or marginal and specialized contributors.

Suggested Citation

  • Chao Lu & Yingyi Zhang & Yong‐Yeol Ahn & Ying Ding & Chenwei Zhang & Dandan Ma, 2020. "Co‐contributorship network and division of labor in individual scientific collaborations," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 71(10), pages 1162-1178, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jinfst:v:71:y:2020:i:10:p:1162-1178
    DOI: 10.1002/asi.24321
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    References listed on IDEAS

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