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Statistics, 5.4 SOCIOLOGY, Sociology

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Scientometrics, 1– 22.


Examining coauthorship networks is key to study scientific collaboration patterns and structural characteristics of scientific communities. Here, we studied coauthorship networks of sociologists in Italy, using temporal and multi-level quantitative analysis. By looking at publications indexed in Scopus, we detected research communities among Italian sociologists. We found that Italian sociologists are fractured in many disconnected groups. The giant connected component of the Italian sociology could be split into five main groups with a mixture of three main disciplinary topics: sociology of culture and communication (present in two groups), economic sociology (present in three groups) and general sociology (present in three groups). By applying an exponential random graph model, we found that collaboration ties are mainly driven by the research interests of these groups. Other factors, such as preferential attachment, gender and affiliation homophily are also important, but the effect of gender fades away once other factors are controlled for. Our research shows the advantages of multi-level and temporal network analysis in revealing the complexity of scientific collaboration patterns.