Department of Information Studies
University of California, Los Angeles
“Structure and Evolution of Scientific Collaboration Networks in a Modern Research
(Advisor: Christine L. Borgman)
“Structure and Evolution of Scientific Collaboration Networks in a Modern Research Collaboratory” by Alberto Pepe, was an exemplary, innovative, pioneering, and potentially highly influential dissertation in an increasingly important area of study in information science, that is, scientific collaboration throughout the world and across disciplines. Pepe investigated collaborative ecology of a multi-disciplinary and distributed science environment, the Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS). By use of survey research and network analysis, this dissertation focused on three aspects of network interactions: co-authorship of professional publications, scholarly communication via network mailing lists, and interpersonal acquaintanceship patterns. Pepe’s work explored social / scientific network analysis theories and concepts, and examined the topology, structure, and evolution of these networks in relation to the disciplinary and institutional arrangements of CENS. This research’s methodology and data analysis were well designed, logically organized, thoroughly explained, and comprehensively documented.
Pepe’s dissertation provides insights into how scientists communicate with each other on a day-to-day basis and how they negotiate the distribution of tasks and evaluate the contributions of one another to the project as a whole. As scholarly publishing and science itself adapt to the Internet age, Pepe’s work will stand as a model for information scientists studying these important developments.