This paper presents qualitative philosophical, sociological, and historical arguments in favor of collaborative research having greater epistemic authority than research performed by individual scientists alone. Quantitatively, epistemic authority is predicted to correlate with citations, both in number, probability of citation, and length of citation history. Data from a preliminary longitudinal study of 33 researchers supports the predicted effects, and, despite the fallacy of asserting the consequent, is taken to confirm the hypothesis that collaborative research does in fact have greater epistemic authority.
As our fields have become more sophisticated, complex, and specialized, we deal with ever larger masses of data, and our quantitative results have become more detailed and esoteric, and difficult to interpret. Because our methods are predominantly quantitative, we tend to overlook or underemphasize the qualitative judgments that enter at every stage of our work, and to forget that quantity is only one of the qualities. As in our world today, where we face a flood of factoids and quantitative data stripped of context, and struggle to evaluate it, to give it meaning, and make it into information, so ought we qualitatively to acknowledge and contextualize our research results, not only to make them more relevant, meaningful, and useful to the larger world, but to give our work greater impact and value.
Authors:Liming Liang, Hildrun Kretschmer, Yongzheng Guo, and Donald deB. Beaver
This paper is a scientometric study of the age structure of scientific collaboration in Chinese computer science. Analysis
reveals some special age structures in scientific collaboration in Chinese computer science. Most collaborations are composed
of scientists younger than thirty-six (Younger) or older than fifty (Elder). For two-dimensional collaboration formed by first
and second authors, Younger-Elder and Younger-Younger are the predominant age structures. For three-dimensional collaboration
formed by first, second and third authors, Younger-Younger-Elder and Younger-Younger-Younger are the most important age structures.
Collaboration between two authors older than 38 amounts to only 6.4 percent of all two-person collaborations. Collaboration
between two middle-aged scientists is seldom seen.
Why do such types of age structure in Chinese computer science exist? We suggest a tentative explanation based on analyses
of the age composition of all authors, the age distributions of the authors in different ranks, and the name-ordering of authors
in articles written by professors and their students.
Authors:Hildrun Kretschmer, Ramesh Kundra, Donald deB. Beaver, and Theo Kretschmer
The causes of gender bias favoring men in scientific and scholarly systems are complex and related to overall gender relationships in most of the countries of the world. An as yet unanswered question is whether in research publication gender bias is equally distributed over scientific disciplines and fields or if that bias reflects a closer relation to the subject matter. We expected less gender bias with respect to subject matter, and so analysed 14 journals of gender studies using several methods and indicators. The results confirm our expectation: the very high position of women in co-operation is striking; female scientists are relatively overrepresented as first authors in articles. Collaboration behaviour in gender studies differs from that of authors in PNAS. The pattern of gender studies reflects associations between authors of different productivity, or “masters” and “apprentices” but the PNAS pattern reflects associations between authors of roughly the same productivity, or “peers”. It would be interesting to extend the analysis of these three-dimensional collaboration patterns further, to see whether a similar characterization holds, what it might imply about the patterns of authorship in different areas, what those patterns might imply about the role of collaboration, and whether there are differences between females and males in collaboration patterns.