COLLABORATIVE PATTERNS AMONG ANDALUSIAN RESEARCHERS: A SOCIAL NETWORK ANALYSIS BASED ON THE JOURNAL CITATION REPORT (JCR)

E.J. Morales-Fernandez1, M.S. Castro-Freire2, N. Muñiz1, J.L. Trechera-Herreros1

1Universidad Loyola Andalucía (SPAIN)
2Universidad Oberta de Cataluña (SPAIN)
Introducción and Objective:
The present work analyzes the collaborative relationships between researchers affiliated to public universities of Andalusia (Spain) and how networking, grounded on JCR publications, facilitates the generation of knowledge and innovation among public universities.

Methods:
The scientific production of articles published in scientific journals indexed in the Journal Citation Report (JCR) between 2003 and 2014 by researchers from universities in Andalusia (Spain), is utilized to explore the last twelve-year production in this academic cluster. The Social Network Analysis (SNA) approach is employed as descriptive and statistical method.

Results:
The analysis is exploited to suggest relevant correlations concerning the interconnections between academic researchers, the amount of publications with scientific impact, and the dimension of this collaborative network. Using the methodology of social network analysis (SNA) provides a rich picture of the understanding and characterization of academic research networks. The results show how partnerships can help to rank universities considering their scientific and synergistic use of resources received.

Conclusions:
It is proposed in this paper the use of SNA as a worthwhile tool for the understanding of academic research networks and the generation of science. The implications of these findings might assist public and private investment organizations in evaluating, based on the effectiveness of scientific production, the efficient use of the funds granted to public universities. For the academic, business, and current/potential student community, these outcomes may graphically exhibit the real scholar research quality picture, sorting out the most potent academic institutions, facilitating decision-making relating to future involvements, and enhancing its image outwards. It may contribute to foster research profile by both the National Department of Education and the EU authorities, including counterparts in universities.