Some Theses for Research on "Collaboration in Science and in Technology":

  • There is a worldwide increasing trend in all forms of cooperation and collaboration in science and technology.
  • This trend is often described in bibliometric and scientometric terms, mostly with international coauthorships as indicator.
  • It is connected with a so called "new mode of knowledge production" by which the sudden emergence of new combinations of formerly disconnected resesarch areas, even from most different disciplines, is meant.
  • The dramatic changes in Eastern Europe and disintegration of the Former Soviet Union had a great impact on the nature, network size, and thematic areas of collaborative work involving scientists in Russia and in the West.
  • One can expect that all forms of international and thus often intercultural collaborations will play an increasing role in the future for politics, education, economies, and, of course, in scientific and technological work.
  • The increasing importance of collaboration and the underdeveloped status of research about collaboration motivates us to establish a group of interested scientists from several countries.
  • One of our intentions is to elucidate "collaboration" from the special viewpoints of the different cultural and national traditions that are represented by the group members.
  • The comprehensiveness and systematic nature and classification of bibliometric data concerning collaboration seem to be unique compared to the situation in social psychology and sociology. Therefore we intend to use bibliometric and scientometric and sociological survey approaches, but the methods and approaches we would like to include are by no means limited to these but should be extended also in the direction of social psychology, sociology, history of science and other disciplines.
  • Almost never theoretical backgrounds of this trend are studied and developed in detail in the literature. This remains a desideratum. Furthermore, a lack of integration among the different approaches to the topic has been found. Related research has been done principally in: communication research; research about scientific migration and mobility; social psychology; history of science. All in all, however, it is our impression that collaboration research in psychology and sociology is quite underdeveloped, notwithstanding the considerable volume of literature concerning sociometry and group psychology.
  • Very few studies have been developed on collaboration in technological research. We think that the social and economic importance of technological research alone forces us to include this type of collaboration in our studies. One of the most valuable data sources for this issue will be patent databases.
  • There is insufficient theoretical and practical evidence of the mutual relationships between interdisciplinary collaboration and international collaboration, on the one hand, and the institutionalized research and university education, on the other hand. There are suggestions that the interdisciplinary collaboration is necessitated to overcome institutional barriers and specialization. Besides, the principle of "publish or perish" increases the preasure to include as many scientists as possible as authors.
  • Here is a necessity to perform combined scientometric and econometric research dealing with scientific collaboration concerning the most actual and global problems of the present world ecology, information society, telecommunications, energy sources, oncology, virus diseases, nutrition, etc.
  • The results of the research on collaboration should yield background knowledge, descriptive and, as far as possible, explanatory, so that results are useful for science and technology policy.

Some Possible Aspects for Research on Collaboration:

  • Dispositions and factors influencing the formation of collaboration
  • Interdisciplinarity and collaboration
  • Similarity and dissimilarity of collaborators with respect to age, gender, productivity, research areas, intra- and interinstitutional collaboration
  • Descriptive issues: Mapping of inter- and intranational collaboration links
  • Integration of the emerging "theory of teamwork" into collaboration research
  • Disciplinary differences of collaboration behaviour and their explanation
  • The formation of collaboration and the process of specialization
  • Political, geographical and cultural similarity and distance in comparison, and collaboration
  • Collaboration for proliferation
  • Comparative studies of national scientific production using political or cultural comparisons as well as geographic distance.
  • Development of collaboration from the historical point of view
  • The influence of student and scientist exchange programs on collaboration
  • The effect of collaboration on communication patterns
  • Brain drain through collaboration between scientists of industrialized and Third World countries
  • The possible application of game theory to collaboration
  • Collaboration as a vehicle of knowledge transfer (compared to other vehicles)
  • Why are major advancements in science seemingly in almost all cases the result of individual work without collaboration in a narrower sense
  • All those approaches should be applied in a comparative manner not only to scientific, but also to technological research collaboration. Differences between both realms of collaboration should be investigated
  • Econometrics aspects of collaboration at different levels
  • Bibliometric patterns of the interdisciplinary communication environment in selected rapidly advancing fields and subfields
  • International and interdisciplinary collaborative patterns in publishing monographs, serials, and journals as well as in regular organizing scientific meetings
  • Scientometric patterns of both integration and differentiation as challenges for the disciplinary organization of traditional and modern science.
  • An examination of the UNESCO study ICSOPRU (International Comparative Study of Organisation and Performance in Research Units) about research productivity with regard to collaboration research

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