The structure of scientific collaboration networks
The structure of scientific collaboration networks is investigated. Two scientists are considered connected if they have authored a paper together and explicit networks of such connections are constructed by using data drawn from a number of databases, including MEDLINE (biomedical research), the Los Alamos e-Print Archive (physics), and NCSTRL (computer science). I show that these collaboration networks form “small worlds,” in which randomly chosen pairs of scientists are typically separated by only a short path of intermediate acquaintances. I further give results for mean and distribution of numbers of collaborators of authors, demonstrate the presence of clustering in the networks, and highlight a number of apparent differences in the patterns of collaboration between the fields studied.