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The Structure of a Social Science Collaboration Network: Disciplinary Cohesion from 1963 to

1999
Author(s): James Moody
Source: American Sociological Review, Vol. 69, No. 2 (Apr., 2004), pp. 213-238
Published by: American Sociological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3593085 .
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The Structureof a Social Science


CollaborationNetwork:
Disciplinary Cohesion from 1963 to 1999
James Moody
The Ohio State University
Has sociology become more socially integrated over the last 30 years? Recent work in
the sociology of knowledge demonstrates a direct linkage between social interaction
patterns and the structure of ideas, suggesting that scientific collaboration networks
affect scientific practice. I test three competing models for sociological collaboration
networks andfind that a structurally cohesive core that has been growing steadily since
the early 1960s characterizes the discipline's coauthorship network. The results show
that participation in the sociology collaboration network depends on research specialty
and that quantitative work is more likely to be coauthored than non-quantitative work.
However, structural embeddedness within the network core given collaboration is largely
unrelated to specialty area. Thispattern is consistent with a loosely overlapping
specialty structure that has potentially integrative implications for theoretical
development in sociology.

Science, carved up into a host of detailed studies that have no link with one another, no longer
forms a solid whole.
Durkheim, 1933 [1984] p. 294

Directcorrespondenceto JamesMoody,The Ohio


State University, Department of Sociology, 372
Bricker Hall, 190 N. Oval Mall, Columbus, OH,
43210 (moody.77@sociology.osu.edu).This workis
supportedin part by NSF ITR/SOC-0080860 and
the Ohio StateInitiativein PopulationResearch.The
authorthanksjimi adamsand SaraBradley for help
with datacollection andmanuscriptpreparation;and
MarkHandcock,MarkNewman,andPaulvon Hipple
for help with dataor analysis.The authorthanksthe
following people for reading prior versions of the
paperandprovidinghelpfulcomments:ArtAlderson,
Susanne Bunn, Ben Cornwell, Bill Form, David
Jacobs, Lisa Keister,Dan Lichter,Dan McFarland,
Jason Owen-Smith,Woody Powell, and the participants of the StanfordUniversity SCANCOR seminar and the University of Chicago Business School
Organizationsand MarketsWorkshop.The author
thanks the ASR reviewers and editors (Camic and
Wilson) for being extremely helpful; and reviewer
JohnA. Stewart,in particular,for providingnumerous suggestions that improvedthis paper.

work in the sociology of knowledge


R ecent
suggests that the set of ideas one holds to
be true is largely a function of the group of
people one interacts with and references to
authoritiesrecognizedby the group.This claim
has been demonstratedin small groups(Martin
2002) and is consistent with literatureon the
social production of scientific knowledge
(Babchuk et al. 1999; Crane 1972; Friedkin
1998; Kuhn1970). Scientistsembeddedin collaboration networks share ideas, use similar
techniques,andotherwiseinfluenceeach other's
work. Such effects have been studiedin specific settings(Friedkin1998) andimplicatedin lab
ethnographies (Collins 1998; Owen-Smith
2001), but this social interactionstructurehas
not been explored for entire disciplines.
Although we might expect the link between
networks and ideas to be strongest in small
groups, a logical extension suggests that longterm trendsin scientific workmight dependon
the broaderpatternof disciplinarysocial networks.1

1 Much literatureon citation networks suggests


similarsubgroupeffects andcapturesone facet of the

SOCIOLOGICAL
REVIEW,2004, VOL.69 (April:213-238)
AMERICAN

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214

SOCIOLOGICAL
AMERICAN
REVIEW

Commentarieson sociology often describea


lack of theoreticalconsensuswithoutreference
to social cohesion, though the two should be
linkedbecause structuralcohesion is thoughtto
generate coherent idea systems (Durkheim
[1933] 1984; Hagstrom 1965; Hargens 1975;
Martin2002; Moody andWhite 2003; Whitley
2000). A networkinfluencemodel suggeststhat
if scientistsexchangeideas, researchquestions,
methods, and implicit rules for evaluatingevidence with their collaborators,then structurally cohesive social networks should generate
consensus, at least with respect to problems
and methods if not on particularclaims about
the empiricalworld(Friedkin1998).2This work
theoreticaldiversity
suggeststhatunderstanding
within a discipline requires understandingits
collaborationstructure.
While a directmappingfrom the idea space
to network structureis often not transparent,
claims abouttheoreticalconsensusin sociology
suggest three distinct collaborationstructures.
First,manyhavenotedthatthe disciplinehas no
overarchingtheorybut, instead,is theoretically
fractured and composed of multiple disconnected researchspecialties.Authorsarguethat
reactions against functionalism,rapid growth,
institutionalpressuresforproductivity,changing
researchtechniques,and/orchangesin the funding environmentfor social sciences have interacted to generate self-contained research
specialties,with uniqueresearchtechniquesand
standardsfor the evaluationof evidence(Collins
2001; Davis 2001; Lieberson and Lynn 2002;
Stinchcombe2001). This descriptionsuggestsa
highly clusteredsocial network.Second,others
have arguedthat scientific productiondepends
crucially on a few scientific stars,whose work
of scientificdisciplines
intellectual
(Crane
integration
andSmall1992;Hargens2000). Citationnetworks
andthusdonotcaparenotsocialnetworks,
however,
structuredescribedin
turethe informalinteraction
Recentworkhaslooked
workon socialintegration.
netof large-scale
collaboration
attheglobalstructure
worksinthenatural
sciences(Newman
2001),buthas
to explainthefeatures
of suchnetworks
notattempted
withrespectto scientificpractice.
2 Thatis, scientificcompetitionfor distinction
shouldproducea racetowardnewempiricalexplanations,butto gainstatuswithina fieldthoseclaims
mustconformto thegeneralrulesof evidencecurrentwithinthe scientificnetwork.

shapes the short-run course of a discipline


(Allisonet al. 1982;Cole andCole 1973;Merton
1968; Zuckerman1977; see also Crane1972).
Scientificstarsattracta disproportionate
level of
research funding, high-profile appointments,
and many studentsand collaborators.Starsystems suggest an unequaldistributionof involvementin collaborationnetworks.Finally,changes
in researchpracticemight interactwith permeable theoreticalboundariesto allow wide-ranging collaborationsthat are not constrainedby
researchspecialty(Abbott2001; Hudson1996).
Forexample,an increasein sophisticatedquantitativemethods,which are (at least on the surface) substantively neutral, would allow
collaborationbetweenpeople with generaltechnical skills and those working on particular
empirical questions. This process suggests a
wide-reachingstructurallycohesive collaboration network.
In this paper, I describe the structureof a
social science collaborationnetworkovertime,
andI linkthis structureto claimsaboutsocialscientific practice.3I first review literatureon network structureand idea spaces, and link three
descriptionsof the currentstate of sociological
practiceto hypothesesaboutthe structureof the
network. I then describe collaborationtrends
and examine explanationsfor increasing collaborationover time. After describingthe data
sourceandmeasures,I firstmodelparticipation
in the collaborationnetwork and then model
position withinthe networkgiven participation.
I notetwo key findings.First,specialtyareasdiffer in the likelihoodof collaboration,andmuch
(but not all) of this differenceis due to use of
quantitativemethods.Second,the resultingcollaborationnetworkhas a largestructurallycohesive corethathas beengrowingsteadilysincethe
late 1960s (both absolutelyand relativeto random expectationgivengrowthin the discipline).
While research specialty predicts having collaborated,specialty is only weakly related to
position withinthe collaborationnetwork,suggesting a relativelyequalrepresentationof specialties acrossthe disciplinarynetwork.
3 Whilethemajority
of allauthorsinthedataI use
aresociologists,thedatabasedoes coversociologiworkproduced
As
callyrelevant
byotherdisciplines.
such,whileit is technicallymoreaccurateto speak
of "a social science"collaboration
network,I will
oftenuse "sociology"forsimplicity.

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STRUCTUREOF SOCIALSCIENCECOLLABORATIONNETWORK

SOCIALANDTHEORETICAL
INTEGRATION
NETWORKSTRUCTURESAND IDEA SPACES

There is increasinginterest in linking the distributionof culturalideas and practicesto the


interaction structure of social communities
(Bearman1993;Burt 1987;Crane1972;Martin
2002; SwidlerandArditi 1994). Theoristshave
long arguedthat one's ideas are a function of
position in a social setting, which is deeply
structuredby interactionpatterns (Durkheim
[1933] 1984; Mannheim1936; Simmel 1950).
Kuhn(1970), for example,arguedthatbelief in
the empirical validity of theory could be sustained long past the available empirical evidence if scientists were embeddedin research
communities who systematically interpreted
data in similarways. This implicit perspective
was made clear in Crane's(1972) work linking
the rapiddevelopmentof new ideasto the social
structureof small "invisible colleges." Crane
found that researchspecialties were characterized by a core group of scientists who collaborated with each other and generated a
disproportionatevolume of new ideas.
Recentworkhas builton these ideasto directly link networkstructureto the distributionof
ideas. Martin(2002) arguesthatwhile predicting the specific contentof ideas is oftennot possible, we can link the shape of an idea space to
the structureof a network.In the small groups
thatMartinstudied,belief consensusdepended
on the authority structurewithin the group's
social network.Similarwork on ideationaldiffusion suggeststhatpeople influencethe beliefs
of theirsocial contacts.As partof a broaderproject devoted to understandingthe distribution
of ideas, Friedkin(1998) shows thatagreement
across different groups of scientists depends
on loosely overlappingcohesive groups in the
underlying social network. Thus, while
Friedkin's mechanism differs from Martin's
(interpersonalinfluence as opposed to hierarchicalauthority),the generalpointis quiteclear:
Belief consensusdependscriticallyon the shape
of the underlyingsocial network.4If this work
is correct,then we can drawhypotheses about
the structureof interactionnetworksin the social
4 Thereis muchliterature
withinsocialnetworks
on thevariousmechanisms
thatgenerateconsensus
fromnetworks(see Burt1987fora review).

215

sciences fromdescriptionsof scientificpractice


and speculateaboutthe potential for scientific
consensus in a field based on the observedcollaborationpattern.
ANDPRACTICE
INSOCIAL
THEORY
SCIENCE
FRAGMENTATION.
Thereis muchlitTHEORETICAL
eratureon the lack of theoreticalconsensus in
sociology (Abbott2000; Collins 1986;Connell
2000; Davis 2001).5Forexample,Stinchcombe
(2001) argues that sociology likely has a dim
future,because "[first]it is unlikelyto develop
much consensus on who best represents the
sociologists' sociologist to be hired in elite
departments.Second, ..., it is unlikely to be
able to arguewith one voice aboutwhatis 'elementary"'(p. 86). This problemis compounded by multiple empirical specialties in the
discipline. "The wide variety of substantive
subjectmatterin disintegrateddisciplines, and
the strongboundariesaroundsubstantivespecialties, means thatpeople cannotget interested in each other's work." (p.89), and many
authors comment on this basic state of intellectual anomie.
Sociology's rapidgrowthalso contributesto
perceptions of fractionalization.Simspon and
Simpson(2001) reporta nearly 5-fold increase
in ASA membershipsince the 1950s, and a rise
in the numberof ASA sections (5 in 1961, 25
in 1987, 44 in 2003). However,fearsaboutdisciplinaryfractionalizationbased on numberof
sections andmultitudesof topics riskmistaking
growth on the margins for separation. When
viewed as a potentialmixing space defined by
the intersection of research areas (Crane and
Small 1992; Daipha2001; Ennis 1992), simple
increasesin the numberof sections tell us little
abouthow people mix across these areas.
Visions of a theoreticallyfracturedsocial science suggest a highly clusteredsocial network.
If substantiveboundariesmean thatpeople are
not interestedin each other'swork,thenpeople
should turn to fellow specialists as potential

is negative,andseveral
5Not all of thisliterature
what
is
comment
on
people
goodaboutthediscipline,
includingthe diversityof ideasandinterestof topinteics, andmanyattemptsaremadeat theoretical
grationor reformulations
(cf LiebersonandLynn
2002;Skvoretz1998).

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216

AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICALREVIEW

collaborators.Graduatestudentswill be trained
within particularspecialties and a shop-productionmodel shouldbuild distinctcommunities surroundingparticulartopics.The resulting
networkwill admit to clear clusters with little
collaborationcrossing specialty boundaries.
The social networkmodel that best fits this
descriptionis the small-worldmodel (Milgram
1969; Watts 1999; Watts and Strogatz 1998).
Intuitively,a small-worldnetworkis anynetwork
where the level of local clustering (one's collaboratorsarealso collaboratorswith eachother)
is high,butthe averagenumberof stepsbetween
actors is small. An archetypical small-world
networkwill have many distinct clusters, connectedto each otherby a small numberof links.
Distinct research clusters will likely inhibit
broadtheoreticalintegration,since theory will
progresslargelywithindistinctresearchgroups.
Past researchon stratifiSTARPRODUCTION.
cation in the sciences has identified large
inequality in the returns to scientific labor
(Allison, Long andKrauze1982;Cole andCole
1973; Merton 1968). Although most scientists
laborin obscurity,a small numberof scientists
receive disproportionaterecognition.This has
been clearlydemonstratedfor indicatorssuchas
citations, number of publications, or grants.
However,researchsuggests that collaboration
is also unequallydivided. Crane(1972) found
thata smallnumberof very prominentscientists
form the core of each specialty'scollaboration
networkandthatmost otherswere connectedto
the rest of the communitythroughthese highly activeindividuals.This centralpositionhelps
explainwhy core scientistswere able to so rapidly diffuse theirideas throughthe community,
and we would expect thatthose with many collaboratorsare likely to be influential (at least
locally). Newman (2001) turns collaboration
itself into a statusmarkerand asks, "Whois the
Best ConnectedScientist?"6
The large inequalityin numbersof collaborators can be explained through a process of
preferentialattachment.High-statusscientists
make attractivecollaboratorssince one's own

overhaving
Competition
amongmathematicians
to thestathesmallestErddsnumberspeakssimilarly
nettusattachedto one'spositionin a collaboration
work.

status is a function of the status of those to


whom one is connected(Bonacich 1987;Gould
2002; Leifer 1988). This implies that people
will seek to workwithhigh-statusscientists,and
this process will be self-reinforcing.The typical preferential attachmentprocess suggests
thatas new people enterthe network,they collaboratewith those alreadyin the networkwith
probabilityproportionalto theircurrentnumber
of partners.The criticalstructuralfeatureforthe
preferentialattachmentmodel is thatstaractors
are responsiblefor connecting the network.
The networkmodel that best fits a starproductionprocess is a scale-free model (Barabasi
and Albert 1999; Newman 2000). Barabasi
(1999) proved that when networks are constructed through a preferential attachment
process, the resultingdistributionof the number of unique collaborators(called the degree
distribution)will have a scale-free power-law
distribution,such thatthe probabilityof having
k partnersis distributedas k-v,and we can thus
use the degree distributionto test for a preferential attachmentprocess.7 Theoretical integration in such networks will likely depend
cruciallyon ideas generatedby starproducers,
as collaboratorsfollow the lead of thoseresponsible for connectingthe entire network.
PERMEABLETHEORETICALBOUNDARIESAND

METHODS.
Abbott (2001) also argues
GENERIC
that the social sciences have little theoretical
consensus, but he does not suggest that this
generatesa clustereddiscipline.Instead,he suggests that the natureof sociology creates permeable theoretical boundaries that make it
impossible for sociology to exclude ideas from
the disciplineonce they areintroduced(p. 6; see
also Daipha2001). Moreover,the processof theoretical developmentis not linear, but instead
follows a "fractalwalk" throughthe available
idea space. Pushed by competition for status,
proponentsof one set of ideas attemptto van-

7 Not findinga power-law


will falsidistribution
attachment
model,buttheopposite
fy a preferential
distridirectiondoesnothold:findinga power-law
but
butionis consistentwithpreferential
attachment,
otherprocessescanalso generatepower-lawdistributions.This asymmetryhas lead to somemisunin thecurrent
literature
overlarge-scale
derstandings
networks.

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STRUCTUREOF SOCIALSCIENCECOLLABORATIONNETWORK

quish another,only to find that they need to


reinventthose same ideas later.This results in
a constantrevisitingof ideas and interestsin the
discipline(thoughusuallyfroma differentdirection) as actorscontinuouslyloop throughwide
sections of the availableidea space.
Permeabilityallows for cross-topic collaboration, since the same theoretical frame (ecological, competition, diffusion through
networks,etc.) canbe appliedto multipleempirical questions. This implies that while people
might specialize in techniques or approaches,
thesetechniquesandapproachesaretransferable
across research questions. If this is the case,
thenthe boundlesscharacterof sociology would
promote wide-ranging collaboration.Authors
with particulartechnical, empiricalor theoretical skills will mix freely with those who have
workedin differentresearchareas,in an attempt
to establish a new position by combining previous work. If many engage in this kind of
cross-fertilization,mixing acrossmultipleareas,
the resultwill be a social structurewith few clear
divisions.
The social networkmodel that best fits this
description is structuralcohesion (White and
Harary2001; Moody andWhite2003; Whiteet
al. 2002). A network is structurallycohesive
when ties are distributedevenly across the network, implying no clear fissures in the underlying structure(Markovsky1998). Moody and
White (2003) show that this network feature
can be exactly characterizedas the extent to
which a networkwill remain connected when
nodes are removedfrom the network.Such networksare,topologically,the structuralopposite
of those implied by a preferentialattachment
process. In preferentialattachmentnetworks,
most relationalpathspass throughhighlyactive
nodes, which if removedwould disconnectthe
network.This key structurallocation gives star
actors unique control over the spreadof ideas
in a network.In structurallycohesive networks,
in contrast,ties aredistributedsuch thatstarsin
the networkare not crucial for connectingthe
network,andideasaremorelikelyto spreadover
the entirenetwork.A structurallycohesive network suggests increasing theoretical integration, at least withinthe multiply-connectedcore
collaborationnetwork.
The three models for large-scale networks
correspondtheoreticallyto expectationsabout
social scientific production.If authorsin well-

217

defined research specialties collaborate with


eachother,thenwe wouldexpectto find distinct
clustersin the knowledge productionnetwork,
which corresponds to a small-world network
structure.If the networkwas generatedby preferentialattachment,whereyoung authorswrite
with well-established stars, then we would
expect to find a scale-freenetworkstructure.If
the multipletheoreticalperspectivesfoundin the
social sciences admitto permeableboundaries
allowingspecialiststo mix freely,thenwe would
expect no strong fissures in the network,but
instead find a structurallycohesive network.
Before looking at the structureof the coauthorshipnetwork,we need to first examinethe
trendsand determinantsof coauthorship.

SCIENTIFIC
TRENDS
COLLABORATION
The probability of coauthoringdiffers across
disciplinesandovertime. Coauthorshipis more
common in the natural sciences than in the
social sciences, but has been increasingsteadily acrossall fields (Endersby1996; Fisheret al.
1998; Hargens 1975; Laband and Tollison
2000). The changing likelihood of coauthorship is evidentin Figure1, which showstheproportion of all articles coauthoredin ASR from
inception and in Sociological Abstracts from
1963 to 1999.
Severalexplanationshavebeen given forthe
increasein coauthorshipovertime (Labandand
Tollison 2000; McDowell and Michael 1983).
Fundingrequirements,particularlyin largelab
settings, might induce collaboration(Laband
and Tollison 2000; Zuckerman and Merton
1973). While social scientists are rarely as
dependenton labs, the rise of large-scale data
collection efforts suggests a similar team-production model. Training differences between
disciplinesmight also accountfor coauthorship
differences.Advancedworkby PhD studentsin
the naturalsciences is usuallyclosely relatedto
an advisor'swork,and commonlyresultsin collaboration.Social science students,in contrast,
tend to work on projects that are more independent.
Otherexplanationsfocus on the division of
labor among scientists. In high-growth, fastchanging specialties, we would expect to see
more coauthorshipbecause it is easier to bring
in a new authorthan it is to learnnew material
oneself. Hudson(1996) arguesthatthe increase

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REVIEW
AMERICAN
SOCIOLOGICAL

218

0.75

0 0.6
A
m

S0.45
FL

0.

CL
C

0.3

0
0.

0
a.

ASR
Sociological Abstracts
0.15

0
1930

1940

1950

1970

1960

1980

1990

2000

Year

Trendsin Sociology
Figure 1. Coauthorship

in coauthorshipin economics is due to the rise


in quantitativemethods. As quantitativetechniquesbecomemorecomplicated,specialistsare
often added to researchteams to do the analyses. These points are well supported by the
lower rates of coauthorshipamong theoretical
or historicalspecialties comparedto coauthorshipin quantitativework(Endersby1996;Fisher
et al. 1998). For social scientists, this suggests
that work that is difficult to divide, such as
ethnography, will be coauthored less often
(Babchuket al. 1999).

DATAAND METHODS
My primaryinterestis to identify the observed
structureof the social science collaborationnetwork to distinguishbetween the three models
suggested by commentaries on sociological
practice. Because participationis a necessary
minimumrequirementfor influence in the network,I first model participationin the network,
and then examine the structureof the network
among those who have coauthored.
SAMPLEAND SOURCE

To examine networkparticipationand embeddedness, I use all English journal articles listed in SociologicalAbstractsthatwerepublished

between 1963 and 1999. Nineteen sixty threeis


the earliestdatelisted in the database,and 1999
was chosen to ensurecomplete coveragewithin years. The Sociological Abstracts database
coversall journalsin sociology proper(allASA
journals,for example),andmanyjournalspublishing sociologically relevant work in other
fields (such as anthropology,political science
and economics), andcoveragehas followedthe
growthin social science overthe last 36 years.8
Sociological Abstractslimits coverageto journal articles, neglecting conference presentations, book reviews, essays, or books. While
these types of collaboration represent social
contact, each has only spotty coverage in the
database. The exclusion of books is perhaps
most troubling, to the degree that books are
more common in particularspecialties such as
social movementsor theory.While unfortunate,
the generallylowerrateof coauthorshipin books

8 There is no published universe of journals to


comparewith, so it is impossibleto knowdefinitively

if changein thenumberof journalsreflectsgrowth


inthedisciplineorchangesin database
inclusion.
SA
providesa coverageindicator,however,thattells
how often articles from a particularjournalare
indexed.I use thisindicatorin themodelsbelowto
helpaccountforpossibleinclusiondifferences.

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STRUCTUREOF SOCIALSCIENCECOLLABORATIONNETWORK

may offset some of the errorintroducedby their


exclusion.
Authors are identified by name, which can
lead to problemswhen names are inconsistent
over time. Errorsusually occur due to inconsistent use of middle initials or when two people havethe same name. Based on the observed
distributionof names, first and last nameswere
coded as eithercommon or uncommon.9If two
records differed only in their middle initials
and had either the same uncommon last name
or the same uncommonfirst name (Howard(a
common name) Aldrich (an uncommonname)
andHowardE. Aldrich,for example),theywere
coded as being the same person. Second, the
coauthorshippatternwas used to identifypapers
where the same authormight use slightly differentnames. For example, I assumed thattwo
papers written by "David Jacobs"and "David
R. Jacobs", with identical sets of coauthors,
were written by the same person and,for that
paper, "DavidJacobs"is recodedto "DavidR.
Jacobs."'10
MEASURES

Actor informationavailablefrom Sociological


Abstractsis somewhatlimited, but we can get
the total number of unique publications, the
numberof unique coauthors,cohort, and time
in the discipline (date of last publicationminus
date of first publication). Publicationvolume
accountsfor productivityandincreasedopportunities to coauthor.If the network structure
were random, embeddedness within the core
of the networkwould be determinedentirelyby
numberof collaborators.Due to changingtrends
over time, those who enter the network later
should be more likely to coauthor than those

9A cutoffof 15 appearances
of a namewasused
to distinguishcommonfromuncommon.
workon largecollaboration
networks
has
10 Prior
not attemptedto identifythesetypesof errors.An
alternative
sourcefornamecleaningwouldbeto use
authoraffiliation. Unfortunately,Sociological
forthefirstauthor,
and
Abstracts,
onlylistsaffiliation
authorsmay have multipleaffiliations(suchas a
researchcenterandanacademicdepartment).
While
suchcorrectionsareimportant
to helpensureaccuratemeasures,thegeneralgraphfeaturesexamined
heredonotdiffersignificantlyif I use thecorrected
versusthenon-corrected
data.

219

enteringearlier.Starproductionmodels suggest
thatthosewho havebeen in the disciplinelonger
should be more deeply embedded than those
who just entered.Finally,by linkingfirstnames
to the Census'genderdistributionof firstnames,
we can estimate the effects of gender on collaborationand position in the network.11
Every article in Sociological Abstracts is
assigned to one of 149 detailed subjectcodes,
which are nested within 36 broad specialty
areas. These 36 areas are used to capture
research specialties.12Sociological Abstracts
also lists the numberof tables in every article,
which providesa simple proxy for whetherthe
To controlfor
paperuses quantitativemethods.13
in
covered
changes journals
by Sociological
Abstracts,I include an indicatorfor how completely SociologicalAbstractsindexesthejournals wherepeoplepublish.Coverageis indicated
at three levels: complete (100% of the articles
in thatjournalare indexed),priority(morethan
50% of the articles are indexed), and selective
(less than 50% are indexed).
I construct the collaboration network by
assigning an edge betweenany two people who
wrote a paper together,regardlessof the how
often they have coauthored.Figure 2 demon-

scorebasedonthe
1 Thisresultsin a probability
of peoplewitha givenfirstnamewhoare
proportion
male.Sincenotallfirstnamescanbe matched,
using
thismeasure
resultsin missingdatafor32%of cases,
likelypredominantly
amongrareandforeignnames.
Thesubstantive
modelresultsfortheothervariables
do notdifferwiththeinclusionof thegendermeasure.Tablesnotusinggenderareavailablefromthe
authoruponrequest.
12 The sociologicalabstractareacategoriesare
ideal,beingsubjectto both
likelynot substantively
errorsof misclassification
andinternalheterogeneity. However,theyremainthe only tractableinformation on substantivearea.While each record
containskeywords
content,thesheernumdescribing
ber of such words(over 8000 uniquekeywords)
wouldrequire
somesortof categorization
the
routine,
of whichis nottransparent.
development
13 Thisis alsoan imperfect
measure,sincewhile
allquantitative
papersincludetablessomenon-quantitativepapersalso includetextualtables,so this
measureover-estimates
thenumberof quantitative
papers.At the aggregatelevelusedhere,the small
numberof nonquantitative
paperswithtableswashes outrelativeto differencesacrossspecialties.

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220

REVIEW
SOCIOLOGICAL
AMERICAN

a) IndividualPublications

QLN

Authors

1D
K

O Papers

Network
b) Collaboration

[]I

-B-]"-L

v
U

Distribution
Degree
Degree Freq
0

R.1
.

2
3
4

5
10
2
0

J.5
Networks
Collaboration
Figure2. Constructing
strateshow the networksare constructedfrom
the authorshipdata.14
The top panel of figure 2 is a schematicrepresentation of data as given in Sociological
Abstracts,with authors(squares)connected to
the papers(circles)they write.The datainclude
single authoredpapers (personsA,B,C and D)
as well as those with more authors.The structureon the toprightof figure2 representsa large
connected set of authors, each of whom has
coauthoredwith someone who has coauthored
with someone else. The bottompanel of figure
2 providesthe resultingcollaborationnetwork.
Those who have written only single authored
papers do not participatein the collaboration
network,butcanbe representedas structuralisolates. Pairsof people who have only coauthored
with eachotherarerepresentedas isolateddyads
{EF, GH}.
14Thanksto a reviewerforsuggestingthisfigure.

The largestconnectedcomponentis the maximal set of people who are connectedby a chain
of any length to each other.The large structure
at the bottom right of figure 2 is the largest
connectedcomponent.Nested withinthis componentis a bicomponent(circled).Whilea component requires only a single traceable path
between each actor, a bicomponent requires
that there be at least two node-independent
pathsconnectingeverypairof actorsin the network. Simmel (1950) arguedthatthe necessary
condition for a group is that a supra-individual
body remains even if a person leaves.
Bicomponents meet this criterion, since the
group remains connected even if a single person is deleted (Moody and White 2003). This
conception scales, as tricomponents (3-node
independentpaths),4-components,and higher
orderk-componentsidentifyincreasinglycohesive subgroupsin a network.
The degree distribution of the network is
used to test the preferentialattachmentmodel.

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NETWORK 221
STRUCTURE
OF SOCIALSCIENCE
COLLABORATION

An actor'sdegree is the numberof uniquepeople they are directly connected to, in this context the number of unique collaborators.The
degree distributionfor the example networkis
given in the lower right of figure 2. Geodesic
pathsdefine networkdistance,as the numberof
intermediarieson the shortest path connected
two nodes in a network.So, for example,nodes
L and S are 3 steps apart.
PUBLICATIONTRENDS
The primaryconstraintson the shape of a collaborationnetworkare the distributionsof the
numberof paperspeople publish and the number of authorson a paper.Table 1 below gives
these distributionsfor all papers in the dataset
(includingthose with only a single author).
Of all authors that appear in Sociological
Abstracts,66% appearonly once, and an additional 15%appearonly twice, with the number
of publications dropping quickly after that.
Publicationvolume has increasedslightly over
time. The percentof authorswith only one publication has dropped,from 71% in the 75-85
period to 67% in the 89-99 period and the tail
of the distributionis a little fatter.'5About 67%

15Note thatthe period-specificdistributionsonly


count publicationswithin that period. Because the
periodsdo not coverall datesandindividualscanpub-

of papershave 1 author,and 22% (66% of all


coauthored papers) have only 2 authors.
Coauthorship increases over time, both in
instance (31% in the earlyperiod comparedto
38% in the laterperiod)andextent(the average
number of authorsper coauthoredpaper was
2.40 in the earlyperiod,comparedto 2.70 in the
late period). Even with the increase over time,
these levels are low comparedto the physical
sciences, which range from an averageof 2.2
authorsper paper in computer science to 8.9
authors per paper in high-energy physics
(Newman 2001). A low numberof authorsper
paper decreases the size of complete clusters
formed throughcommon authorshipon a single paper.

AREAAND NETWORK
SPECIALTY
PARTICIPATION
Having ever coauthoreda paper is a necessary
conditionfor being embeddedin the largercollaboration network. If the collaboration network shapes commitmentto particularways of
doing science, then identifying systematicdifferences in who collaborateswill identify key
differencesin those exposed to the information

lish in bothperiods,the threecolumnsdo notnecessarily sum.

andNumberof
Table 1. SociologyPublicationPatterns:Distributionsof Publications,Coauthorship
Collaborators
PublicationsperAuthor

Authorsper Paper

Count Total 1975-1985 1989-1999 Total 1975-1985


0
67.71% 66.83% 68.85%
1
65.80% 70.57%
22.78
2
14.80
15.59
21.88
15.05
6.20
5.88
6.40
7.06
3
6.46
4
3.05
3.44
2.49
1.73
3.63
1.74
2.05
.93
.45
5
2.18
1.21
1.34
.42
.17
1.50
6
.07
.77
.87
.19
7
1.08
.03
.54
.63
.09
.82
8
.38
.46
.05
.01
.60
9
.24
.33
.02
.01
.46
10
.18
.26
.01
.01
11
.37
.65
.80
.03
.01
>11
2.04
N
123,766 281,090 68,934
197,976 59,567
a

1989-1999
62.57%
22.79
8.47
3.41
1.45
.66
.31
.14
.08
.04
.02
.04
141,497

UniqueCollaboratorsa
Total 1975-1985 1989-1999
35.27% 41.06%
23.88
27.55
14.48
14.53
8.73
7.40
5.34
3.74
3.53
2.18
2.22
1.14
1.54
.67
1.11
.45
.81
.36
.24
.59
.48
.22
2.02
.46
197,976 59,567

Onlypeoplewith coauthorships.

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32.35%
22.99
15.01
9.73
6.19
4.04
2.67
1.77
1.30
.92
.63
.47
1.93
123,766

222

AMERICANSOCIOLOGICALREVIEW

and ideas flowing through the collaboration


network.
Table2 lists coauthorshiplevel by broadspecialty area, the numberof papers within each
category,growthin both numberof articlesand

coauthorshipover time, and specialties sorted


by the coauthorshiprate.
While about 33% of all papers have been
coauthored,the range is high, from a low of
8% for Marxist Sociology to 53% for Social

Table2. Growthin Numberof ArticlesandCoauthorship


Rates,by Specialty,1963-1999
N

Areasof Sociology
Growth
All Areas
IndividualAreas
Marxist
Radical
Knowledge
History&Theory
CultureandSociety

281,090
1,044
908
3,406
17,231
7,040

Papers(%)
100
.37
.32
1.21
6.13
2.50

Paper
Growth

Coauthored
(%)

Coauthorship

346.68

33.2

.013

1.66
2.82
1.91
17.03
3.67

8.0
8.0
8.2
12.9
14.3

-.009a
-.001c
.000O
.001C
.003

141

.05

.25c

14.8

-.009b,c

5,673
14,412
4,518
6,632
5,569
8,611

2.02
5.13
1.61
2.36
1.98
3.06

7.44
15.93
5.28
7.12
4.84
13.48

17.8
18.1
20.0
20.5
23.6
24.4

.008
.002
.007
.007a
.009a
.006

Community Development

4,444
1,694

1.58
.60

25.6
26.0

.004
.009

FeministGenderStudies
Social Development
Social Control
Policy& Planning

7,225
9,805
7,804
3,243

2.57
3.49
2.78
1.15

11.9
15.93
6.16
6.75

27.2
27.9
28.4
28.6

.003a,c
.016
.009
.008
.000b,c

Visual

LanguageandArts
Political
Science
Change& EconomicDevelopment
Religion
GroupInteractions
Urban

Mass Phenomena
Rural

Education
Interactions
Environmental
Methodology
Studiesin Violence
Demography
Social Differentiation
Studiesin Poverty
Social Planning/Policy
ComplexOrganizations
Business

SocialPsychology
Problems& Welfare
The Family
Health/Medicine
SocialWelfare

.10

-. 15c

29.8

12,069

4.29

14.98

30.0

.006

3,746

1.33

30.5

.008

10,628
3,102
8,897
1,521
6,542
9,769
1,393
12,232
13,986

3.78
1.10
3.16
.54
2.33
3.48
.50
4.35
4.98

31.9
32.1
32.1
33.4
33.6
34.4
34.9
35.8
37.4

.010
.012
.009
.010
.010
.011
.014
.014
.012

280

Clinical

.06c
-. 39c,d

.65c,d

8.71
7.93
6.68
3.11
4.38
-.58c
2.06
20.21
20.22

195

.07

1.79

40.0

.054b,c

13,527
10,674
19,806
14,634
28,689

4.81
3.80
7.05
5.20
10.21

4.67
16.35
20.13
23.16
90.58

44.2
45.4
46.1
49.5
53.2

.013
.019
.019
.025
.045

a Trendlevels off in recent


years.
b Recentcategory,less than 10 yearscovered.
STrendis not statisticallysignificant.
dAlthoughthe overalltrendis not significant,growthis nonlinear,droppingsharplyin the 1970s,andrising
steadilysince about1980.

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STRUCTUREOF SOCIALSCIENCECOLLABORATIONNETWORK

ses that lend themselves to a substantivedivision of labor.There is a moderatecorrelation


between growth in a specialty and the proportion of papersthatarecoauthored,thoughfields
such as social psychology and social theory /
historicalsociology clearlybuckthe trend.The
proportion of papers that are coauthoredhas
increasedby about 1% per year over the time
spancoveredin the database,andthis trendhas
been largelylinear.Growthin coauthorshiphas
been relativelysteadywithin specialtiesas well,
with most having growth levels close to the
average.
While the SociologicalAbstractsdataaretoo
limited to test many of the proposed explanations for increasesin coauthorship,we can identify the contributionof research method and
specialty area.17Figure 3 plots the proportion
of paperswithin a specialty areathatare coauthored against the proportionthat have tables,
for two time periods.
The figure shows a strong correlation
betweenthe proportionof paperswith tables in

Welfare.16The numberof articles in the database has increasedby about350 papersper year
over the past 30 years (column 4, row 1), and
overall growth by specialty can be seen in the
rest of the table (the sum of the specialty cells
equals the total). Cultureandtheorypapersare
among the least likely to be coauthored,as are
papersin the sociology of knowledge, sociology of science, language and arts, radical sociology, Marxist sociology, political sociology,
and visual sociology. Paperson social welfare
are the most likely to be coauthored,followed
closely by those in social psychology, the family, sociology of healthandmedicine,and social
problemsandwelfare.Workin these areasoften
involves largedatasetsand cumbersomeanaly-

16 Social Welfareis a
largecategoryincluding

topicssuchasAIDS,healthcare,addiction,adolescence, illness andhealthcare,maritaland family


problems,crime& publicsafety,etc.Thiscategory
has the highestcoauthorship
rateandis amongthe
fastestgrowingareasinthedataset.
Toensurethatthe
observedresultswerenot simplyan artifactof this
category,I havereplicatedthemainfindingsforthe
paperona datasetthatexcludesthesepapersfromthe
set. Thereare no substantively
meaningfuldifferenceswhenthesepapersareexcluded.

0.562

48
0.52

17Previousversionsof thispaperincludeddataon
a limitedsetofjournalsandexamined
funding,menforcoauthorship.
torshipandlocationexplanations
Thesetablesareavailableon request.

.*"*
1975-1985

Soc.welfare

1989-19S.Health

0.8

-a
0

S00Ee0

0.32-1.

S0.24
- 0.20

Sof Science -

0.1

0Econ Change
politicalSc.

0.2

O
Demography

.anS

FernmGender

RadicalSoc.

0.0

Complex

S.
e
RuralS.
M2
Methdology Educationo

0 . 36

0 2

&Medicine

Soc. Psych.

0.44
S0.40rgs

223

0.3

&Deelop.

0.4

0.5

0.6

Proportionof paperswithtables

andQuantitative
Work1975-1999by Specialty.
Figure3. Coauthorship

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0.1

0.8

224

AMERICANSOCIOLOGICALREVIEW

each specialtyandthe proportionof papersthat


are coauthored.18The returns to quantitative
work increasedbetween the two periods, suggesting a strongereffect of quantitativeworkon
coauthorshipin the most recentdecade.A simple explanationfor the change over time is that
as quantitativework becomes more sophisticated, methodological specialists are brought
into more projects.The increasein specialized
knowledge needed for advanced techniques
increases the value to dividing labor in papers
(Hudson 1996).
Table3 providesan individuallevel model of
having ever coauthored. Substantive area is
coded fromthe SociologicalAbstractsas a count
of the numberof publicationsfor each author
in each specialty area.Withineach of the three
time windows, Model 1 presents a baseline
model containingonly the actorhistory,demographic,publicationandjournalcoveragevariables (the first 6 rows of the table) and a single
specialtyarea.The specialtyareacoefficients in
model 1 are thus the coefficients for separate
models with the single specialty area and the
first 6 variableslisted in the table. We can thus
interpret the odds ratio as the change in the
odds of coauthorshipfor each publication in
that specialty, relative to all other specialty
areas. Since people can write in multiple areas,
and we would expect some areas to be much
more closely related than others (Crane and
Small 1992; Daipha2001), model 2 presentsa
multivariateversion of model 1, enteringall of
the specialty areas simultaneously.19Model 3
adds an indicatorof quantitativework,the pro-

18Thecorrelation
in theearlyperiodis .82, inthe
lateperiodit is .89.Thechangein slopebetweenthe
twoperiodsis statistically
significantatp = .017.To
avoidclutterin the figure,each specialtyis only
to using
labeledforone timeperiod.An alternative
the specialtyareaswouldbe to aggregatewithin
journals,becausewiththeexceptionof a fewgeneral journals,journalsspecializein particular
topics.
Thisfigureis availableon request,andsubstantive
resultsarethesame.
19Sincethecategoriesareexhaustive,
atleastone
reasonto
mustbe omitted.Thereis no substantive
one
area
over
another
as
the
reference
categopick
ry,buta consistentreferencecategoryaidsin evaluating changeovertime. In all modelsI used the
sociology of education as the reference category,

becausetheoddsof coauthorship
wereverycloseto

portionof an author'spapersthathavetables,to
model 2, allowing us to identify specialty difference net of researchmethod.
The models show thatthose with greatertime
in the discipline (exposure) are slightly more
likely to coauthor,thoughthe magnitudeof this
effect is small.20The cohort effects are consistent, with those publishinglaterhaving a higher likelihoodof havingcoauthored,thoughagain
the effect is relativelysmall.The strongestpublication effect is the simple numberof publications. Each additionalpublicationincreasesthe
odds of coauthoringby 1.28. Consistent with
prior researchin economics, the odds of men
coauthoring are about .64 times the odds of
women coauthoring,thoughthis effect decreases (to .73) once you controlfor specialtyarea.21
The actor-attributeeffects remain largely
constantwhencontrollingfor specialtyor examined overtime.The clearestexceptionis thatthe
effect of the numberof publicationsincreases
when controlling for specialty area, and is
strongerin the latterperiodthanin the earlyperiod. Similarly,cohorteffects areless pronounced
in the laterperiodthan in the earlyperiod,likely reflectingthe greaterubiquityof coauthorship
over time.
There is a clear effect of specialty on the
likelihood of having coauthored.Authorswho
write in historical,qualitative,radicaland interpretive specialties are less likely to coauthor
thanthose writingin more positivist and quantitative specialties. For example, the odds of
coauthorshipcontrollingfor specialtyoverlapin
Marxistsociology are abouthalf (.57) those in
sociology of education, and those writing in
social historyandtheory are about.58 times as
likely. In contrast,those writing on the family
averagein bothtimeperiods,the rateof changein
mirrorstherateof changeoverall,and
coauthorship
theareais largeenoughto providea stablereference
category.
20 To avoidredundancy
in the text,I will focus
commentsmainlyonthepooled1963-1999models,
andmentiontheothermodelsonlytotheextentthat
thepatternsdifferfromthismodel.
21Inaddition,
forSociological
thecontrolvariables
Abstractscoveragearealsosignificant,showingthat
(theomittedcatjournalsincludedonlyincidentally
egory) are slightlymorelikely to be coauthored,
thoughthis effect eitherbecomesinsignificantor
areais included.
changesdirectionwhensubstantive

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STRUCTURE
OFSOCIALSCIENCE
COLLABORATION
NETWORK 225
Table3. LogisticRegressionof HavingEverCoauthoredon PublicationCharacteristics
1963-1999
Mod 1 Mod2 Mod 3

Variable
Exposure
Numberof Publications
Yearof 1stPublication
MaleAuthor(probability)
CompleteCoverage

1.02
1.28
1.03
.64
.92
.87

Priority Coverage
Quantitative Work

.26
.32
.24
.49
.52
.47
.56
.58
.64
.63
.74
.64
.89

1989-1999

Mod 1 Mod2 Mod 3

Mod 1 Mod2 Mod3

1.01
1.45
1.02
.73
1.22

1.01
1.44
1.01
.73
1.19

1.03
1.33
1.04
.70
1.16

1.00a

.94a
5.45

.98a

.48
.57
.38
.58
.56
.57
.59
.68
.69
.77
.72
.68
.91a

.61
.62
.42
.64
.62
.69a
.60
.69
.73
.76
.72
.71
.89

SpecialtyAreaof Sociology(code)
Radical(25)
Marxist(30)
Knowledge(22)
History& Theory(2)
Culture& Society(5)
Visual(33)
Language& Arts(13)
Political(9)
Science(17)
SocialChange(7)
Religion(15)
GroupInteraction(4)
Urban(12)

1975-1985

1.01a 1.02a
1.31 1.29
1.03 1.01a
.74
.76
1.32 1.22

1.02
1.34
1.01
.64
.66

.99a
1.61
1.01
.76
1.02a

1.00a
1.56
1.01a
.75
1.03a

.94a
4.17

.80

.98a

.91a
6.38

.35
.58
.34
.50
.26
.37
.54
.68
.42
.49
.44a .59a
.61
.51
.60
.75
.81
.67
.65
.87a
.85
.77
.79
.90a
1.06a 1.20

.70a
.66
.48
.81
.52
.86a
.69
.74
.92a
.93a
.92a
.89a
1.14a

.20
.20
.16
.35
.37
.32
.57
.48
.58
.61
.76
.58
.74

.34
.35
.26
.42
.44
.35
.59
.59
.64
.75
.73
.62
.78

1.02a

1.16a

1.01a

.47
.49
.40
.54
.57
.48a
.63
.63
.75
.75
.72
.66
.73

Community Development (23)

.85

.90a

.94a

.85a

.91a

1.04a

1.14a

FemaleGender(29)
SocialDevelopment(83=36)

.68
.82

.69
.86

.71a
.76

.93a 1.01a 1.04a


.76
.87
.80

.55
.78

.58
.86

.66
.79

Social Control (16)


Policy & Plan (24)

.88
.81

.82
.87

.84
.95a

.96a
.79

.87
.74

.81
.79

.86
.91a

1.34

1.24a

1.21a

.93a 1.01a

1.09a

.76a

.83a

.98a

Mass Phenomena (8)


Rural (11)
Education (14)

.90
.99a
.95

.97a
1.07a

.95a
1.01a

.98a
.86a
.89

1.08a
.96a

.82
1.07a
.93

.87
1.08a

.88a
.98a

Methodology(1)
Environmental
(26)

1.07
.95a

1.15
1.03a

1.10
1.02a
.84

1.17a

1.24a

1.14a

.93a
1.02a

1.21
1.17

1.29
1.28

1.04a
1.13a

1.03a 1.01a
1.18 1.22

Clinical(31)

1.02a
.91a
1.13a
1.02a

1.07a
.96a

1.00a 1.13a 1.12a


.86a .97a .95a

1.17 1.25 1.22


.96a 1.02a 1.02a

.89a

Demography(18)
SocialDifference(10)

1.07a
1.14

Poverty (27)

1.07a

1.01a

.94a

1.08a

1.30a

1.05a

1.12a

1.06a

.96a

SocialPlan/Policy(72)/35
(6)
ComplexOrganizations

1.19
1.17

1.21
1.19

1.13
1.06a

1.23
1.25

1.35
1.38

1.34
1.23

1.05a 1.10
1.17 1.20

1.13
1.03a

Business (32)

1.39a

1.45a

1.26a

.69a

.81a

.59a

1.76

1.99

1.80a

SocialPsychology(3)
SocialProblems(21)
Family(19)
Health(20)
SocialWelfare(61)

1.88
1.76
1.71
2.02
2.35

1.91
1.65
1.61
1.92
2.19

1.63
1.46
1.35
1.64
2.04

2.21
1.53
1.68
1.53
1.56

2.34
1.37
1.72
1.62
1.66

1.95
1.46
1.46
1.48
1.80

1.60
1.90
1.83
2.24
2.67

1.77
1.77
1.75
2.13
2.40

1.50
1.49
1.37
1.72
2.24

.212

.322

.154

.254

.215

.352

R-Square

.096b

.067b

.73

.75

.88

1.09
1.12

Violence (28)

.067b

.75

.83
.97a

82,475
130,141
41,386
Note: Datashownas oddsratios.Unless otherwisenoted,all cell valuesaresignificantatp ? .01 (tableswith
detailedsignificancelevels areavailablefromthe author).Mod = Model.
aValueis not significantat the < .01
p
b Pertainsonly to the publicationand
demographiccharacteristics.

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226

AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICALREVIEW

are 1.61 times more likely to coauthor,those in


social psychology are 1.91 times more likely to
coauthor and social welfare writers are 2.19
times as likely to coauthor,net of individual
attributes, index coverage, publication levels
and overlapsamongareaspecialties.The importanceof specialtyareafor collaborationis clearly indicated in the increase in model fit. The
pseudo-R2increasessignificantlywith the addition of specialty area.
The likelihood of coauthorshipby specialty
area does evidence some interesting changes
over time. Many of the fields that are unlikely
to coauthorare comparativelymore unlikelyto
coauthorin the laterperiodthanin the earlyperiod, suggesting thatthe importanceof specialty
for coauthorshiphas increased over time. For
example, while those writing in feminist gender studieshad aboutaveragecoauthorshiplevels in the earlyperiod,the odds of coauthorship
in this specialtyareabouthalf the averagein the
laterperiod. Similarly,those writing in historical sociology and theory had an odds ratio of
.68 in the early period, comparedto .42 in the
later period. The trend is replicatedin reverse
for fields wherecoauthorshipis more common,
thoughperhapsnot as uniformly.Forexample,
while methodologists had average levels of
coauthorshipin the earlyperiod(not statistically
differentfrom feministgenderstudies),odds in
the later period are about 1.25 times that of
averagegroups.Similarpatternsareevidentfor
work on the family. Social Psychology, on the
otherhand,is relativelymore likely to coauthor
in the early period than the laterperiod, likely
reflectingits 'first-mover'statusin coauthorship.
Model 3 adds the indicator of quantitative
work, and shows that quantitativework has a
strong association with coauthorship.Overall,
those writing quantitativepapers are over 5
times morelikelyto havecoauthoredthansomeone who has not writtenquantitativework.This
effect has increasedovertime, from4.17 in the
earlyperiod to 6.38 in the laterperiod.Adding
coauthorship to the model significantly
improvesthe model fit, attenuatingthe magnitude of the specialty effects, though they are
generallysubstantivelysimilarto thosein model
2. This suggests that,while researchmethodis
clearlyimportant,researchspecialtystill makes
a unique contributionto the odds of coauthorship.

These models suggest that coauthorship


might be bifurcatingacross specialties, which
is likely due to an increasingrate of coauthorship growthin the less interpretivefields. Once
a division of laborprocess takes hold, it likely
propagatesas mentorsteach studentsthatcoauthoringand collaborationis normative.As such,
we should expect continualgrowthin the incidence of coauthorshipwithin these specialty
areas. This bifurcation suggests that, to the
extentthattheoreticalintegrationfollows social
integration,a theoreticalgulf will mirrorthe network participationpattern. Those specialties
that are least likely to collaborateare thus less
likely to be theoreticallyintegratedwith those
that are more likely to collaborate.
COLLABORATIONNETWORK
STRUCTURE
While the models presentedabove tell us who
coauthors,they tell us nothing aboutthe structure of the network given coauthorship.The
discussion presentedabove suggest threecompetingmodels:A preferentialattachmentmodel,
suggestinga structurerelianton starproducers;
a small-world model, where specialty areas
cluster into distinct social groups;and a structuralcohesionmodelthatsuggestsa broadoverarchingconnectivity among a large portionof
the network.
DOESTHENETWORK
DEPEND
ONSTAR
COLLABORATORS?

If the observednetworkwere generatedthrough


a preferentialattachmentprocess, the distribution of number of coauthors would follow a
power-lawdistribution,which will be seen as a
straightline whenplottedon a log-log scale.The
distributionof the totalnumberof collaborators
is given in the last threecolumns of table 1, and
presentedgraphicallyin Figure 4. For the full
network,about37% of authorshave only written with one otherperson,and about22%have
writtenwith 2 others.The distributionof coauthorshas a fattertail in the 89-99 periodcompared to the 75-85 period, with fewer nodes
havingonly one coauthorandmorepeoplewith
3 or more coauthors.
The observeddistributiondoes not fit a strict
power law, having a curved,ratherthan linear
shape, suggesting that the network was not

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STRUCTURE
OF SOCIALSCIENCE
COLLABORATION
NETWORK 227
1,000,000

1963-1999
100,000
/

10,000 t

ComponentSensitivity

Degree
Distribution

.
1,000
100
10

o 0
o
o

100

0
o0

10
Degree + 1

100

1,000,000

1975-1985
100,000
10,000
,

Component Sensitivity

1,000
100
10

00

10o0

10

100

Degree + 1

1,000,000

1989-1999
100,000
Component Sensitivity

101,000
)

1,000
100
10
1
1

10
Degree + 1

Networks
Figure 4. Scale-Freepropertiesof Coauthorship

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100

228

SOCIOLOGICAL
REVIEW
AMERICAN

generated solely by a preferentialattachment


process. Most priorresearchon power-lawdistributions tests for a power-law by fitting a
regression line to the observed points in the
log-log space. Using the simple regression
approach,in each case the fit is improvedby
adding a squaredterm to the regression, indicating that the relationis not linear.22
Substantively,the key interest in scale-free
networks lies in the extent to which a small
numberof high-degreeactorsareresponsiblefor
connecting the network,which puts them in a
uniquely powerfulposition for influencing the
directionof scientificpractice.Whilethe degree
distributiondoes not conform to a strictpower
law,it is highly skewed,so it makessense to test
for this structuralpropertydirectly.The second
line in each panelof figure 3 (calledcomponent
sensitivity) gives the size of the largest connected component when all actors with that
degree or more are removedfrom the graph.It
is clear from the figure, thatthe networkshold
together well into the bulk of the tail, not disconnecting until we remove all actors with
greaterthan8-10 collaborators.While a minority of the total networkhas 8 or more collaborators,one would still have to remove over 500
of the most active nodes to disconnectthe network. This network is not held together by a
small numberof networkstars.Thus, while the
networkcontainsclearstaractors- people with
a disproportionatenumber of ties, and such
actors are likely very influentialwithin a local
region of the network, information diffusion
throughthe networkdoes not depend on such
actors.

A SOCIOLOGICAL
SMALLWORLD?

Is the social science collaborationnetworkcharacterized by distinct clusters that are weakly


connectedto each other?Using formulasdeveloped by Newman et al. (2001), we can test the
observedgraphpropertiesrelativeto a random
graphwith a similarjoint distributionof authors
and papers.Any networkthat has significantly
greaterlocal clusteringthanexpectedby chance
and average distances about equal to chance
are considered small-world networks (Watts
1999; Wattsand Strogatz1998). Formally,one
measures local clustering with the clustering
coefficient,C, whichis the proportionof all twostep contacts(collaborator'scollaborators)that
are also directly connected (called the transitivity index in prior work [Davis 1970; Davis
andLeinhardt1972;Hararyet al. 1965;Holland
and Leinhardt1971]) and distance with 1, the
averagepath length between connectednodes.
A small-world network has clustering that is
higher than expected and average distances
roughlyequivalentto thatexpectedin a random
networkof similarsize and distributionof number of partners.
The top panel of Table4 comparesthe clusteringandpathlengthstatisticsforthe observed
networks to the random expectation. For the
firstperiod,the observedclusteringcoefficient,
C, is .194, which is not substantivelydifferent
fromthe expectedrandomvalue of .207. Forthe
total network,the observed characteristicpath
length, 1, is 9.81, which is significantly longer
than the expected 7.57. Thus, distances are
greater,andrelationsless clustered,thanwould
be expected in a random graph with similar
contributionstructures,which meansthe graph
does not have a small-worldstructure.
22
JonesandHandcock(2003)haverecentlycriThis result is largely replicated for the two
tiquedmuchof this work.The regressionmethod
period-specificnetworks.In each case, the clusimproperlyweightscases and fails to accountfor
betweenpoints.Theiralternative teringcoefficient is a little smallerthanrandom
autocorrelation
maximumlikelihoodtechniquesalso suggestthat expectations, but distances are significantly
the observeddatado not conformto a preferential greaterthan expectedunderrandommixing, in
attachment
process.Whenviewedin theaggregate, direct contradictionto the small-worldmodel.
is bestfit witha variantof a
thedegreedistribution
These findings suggest that the collaboration
negativebinomialmodel,whenviewedin the short network is not composed of distinct, separate
run(75-85, 89-99) noneof thestandard
modelsfit
clusters.Instead,permeabletheoreticalboundthe observeddistributionsparticularlywell, sugaries
likely result in a networkthat folds in on
alternative
the
factorsdetermine
gestingthatmany
numberof collaborators.
Thanksto MarkHandcock itself, connecting people at greater distances
forprovidingthesemodels.
from widely differentspecialties.

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STRUCTURE
OFSOCIAL
SCIENCE
COLLABORATION
NETWORK229
Table4. Comparisonof ObservedCoauthorship
Structureto EquivalentRandomNetworks
1963-1999

1975-1985

1989-1999

128,151

35,109

87,731

.194
(.207)
9.81
(7.57)

.306
(.312)
12.26
(8.31)

.266
(.302)
11.53
(8.24)

68,285
95,078
(169)
.72
78,753
(132)
.87

7,492
16,736
(131)
.45
15,378
(90)
.49

36,772
59,736
(145)
.62
49,061
(120)
.75

29,462
.43
47,339
(166)
.50
.62
48,769
(153)
.62
.60

2,034
.27
4,774
(94)
.28
.43
7,882
(78)
.51
.26

15,281
.42
29,738
(186)
.50
.51
31,806
(123)
.65
.48

Nodes (n)a
Small-worldParameters
ClusterCoefficient
(Randomexpected)
AveragePathLengthb
(Randomexpected)
Size of LargestComponent
Observed
RandomPaperAssignment
(SD)
Ratioof Observedto Random
RandomPaper+ One Publication
(SD)
Ratioof Observedto Random
Size of LargestBicomponent
Observed
Ratioof Bicomponentto Component
RandomPaperAssignment
(SD)
Ratioof Bicomponentto Component
Ratioof Observedto Random
RandomPaper+ One Publication
(SD)
Ratioof Bicomponentto Component
Ratioof Observedto Random
a Excludespeoplewithoutcoauthors.
bAppliesonly withinthe
largestconnectedcomponent.

STRUCTURAL
COHESION?

The final model based on commentariesof the


discipline suggests a broad-basedstructurally
cohesive collaborationnetwork.The minimum
requirementfor cohesion is connectivity, and
thus increases in the size of the largest connected componentare a basic requirementfor
structuralcohesion. While a necessary substrate,a componentcan be quite fragile, since
removing a single person can disconnect the
network.A strongercriterionfor cohesion is the
size of the largestbicomponent.23
We need a benchmarkto meaningfullyjudge
the size of a component or bicomponent in
empiricalnetworks.I constructcomparisonnet23I focushereon thesize of thelargest
bicomponent, but smallerbicomponentsdo exist in the net-

work.However,they are usuallymanyordersof

magnitudesmallerthan the largest component.For


example, the second largest bicomponent in the
pooled networkhas fewer than 50 nodes.

works by randomlyassigning the observed set


of authorsto the observed set of papers(which
retainsthe observedpublicationvolume distributions), then construct a random collaboration network from these randomized
authorships.This is preferableto simply randomizing edges in the full network, since it
maintainsthe necessary clusteringthat results
from multiple authors on a single paper.
Moreover, an authorship randomization
approach allows me to control other mixing
features,such as homophilyon numberof publications or the distributionof authorsacross
specialties. If changesin the inclusionof a particularspecialtywith more coauthorshipsin the
databaseweredrivingresults,randomizingwithin specialty would effectively account for this
bias. It should also be noted that components
and bicomponentsin randomgraphseffectively form an upper bound on component size,
since under random mixing the components
quickly converge to cover the entire graph
(Palmer 1985). As such, the meaningfulcom-

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23o

AMERICAN
SOCIOLOGICAL
REVIEW

parison over time is how much closer to the


randomvaluewe get, conditionalon the relevant
mixing featuresof the network.These comparisons are given in the bottom panel of table 4.
Nearly half of all collaborating authors
(68,285) are members of a single connected
component,meaning that it is possible to trace
a path from each to the other through coauthorship chains. This is about 72% of chance
levels, if one simply assigned all authors to
papersat random.In all years, the next-largest
componentis ordersof magnitudesmallerthan
the giantcomponent.Forthe full network,nearly 60% of people who have coauthoredbut are
not in the largestcomponentarescatteredacross
componentsof 2 or 3 people.
Simplerandomassignment,however,ignores
the fact thatmany authorsare only represented
becausetheyhavecoauthoreda singlepaperthat
generatesisolated dyads (cases such as {E and
F} in figure 2). We can set the randomization
process to match this parameter,ensuringthat
our simulatednetwork contains as many necessarily isolated dyads as observed in the real
graph (Random Paper + One Pub condition).
Doing so lowers the expected size of the giant
component. Compared to this more realistic
simulation, the observed giant component is
about 87% of the random expectation.24
Looking over time, we see that the proportion
of the populationin the largestcomponenthas
steadily increasedrelative to randomexpectation. Based on the one-pub restriction, the
largestcomponentin the earlyperiod was 49%
of randomexpectation,risingto 75%of random
expectationin the laterperiod.
We find a similarstorywithrespectto the size
of the largestbicomponent.Bicomponentsare
nested within components, and 43% (29,462
people) of the members of the largest component are also membersof the largestbicomponent, or about 60% of the random expected

24

Additionalcontrolswere checked,including
onmixingbynumber
of authors
conditioning
beyond
isolateddyads(equivalent
to fixingthe diagonalof
the mixingmatrix,while the 'one-pub'condition
only fixes the 1,1 cell), and constrainingmixing
withinareas,whichaccountsforchangesin specialovertime.Neitherof theserestricty representation
tionshaveas stronganeffectontheexpectedvalues
astheone-pubrestriction.
onrequest.
Tablesavailable

size. Again,therelativeproportionhas increased


over time, moving from 26% in the early period to 48% in the laterperiod(basedon the onepub randomizationmodel).25
Theoretical consensus should be higher
among pairs of people embedded in higherorderk-components.While a completecohesive
blocking (Moody and White 2003) of the total
coauthorshipnetworkis impossiblebecause of
its size, we can estimatethe distributionof higher-orderconnectivityfor the entiregraphbased
on the connectivitydistributionamong a sample of dyads. By definition, every pair in the
largest component(N = 68,285) has at least 1
path connecting them, and every pair within
the largest bicomponent (N = 29,462) has at
least two paths.Nested withinthis bicomponent,
the largest tricomponent has approximately
14,627 (CI = 14,372-15,375) members, the
largest 4-component has approximately7,992
(CI = 6972-8068), and approximately5,203
(CI = 4564-5667) are connectedby 5 or more
independentpaths.26
Higher-orderconnectivity appears to have
increased over time as well. The bicomponent
for the 1975-1985 period is small enough to
allow a completeenumerationof all nestedcon25

Becausebicomponents
mustbe nestedwithin
components,andbecauseourobservedcomponent
is smallerthantherandomcomponent,
directlycomto the
paringthe size of the observedbicomponent
randomgraphsomewhat
underestimates
therelative
cohesionintheobservednetwork.
Toaccountforthis
I presentthe ratioof the size of the
underestimate,
to the size of the largestcomlargestbicomponent
ponentforboththeobservedandtherandomgraph.
Thesefiguresalsoshowthatcohesionhasincreased
overtime,from.51 in the earlyperiodto .65 in the
laterperiod.
26 Estimatesare basedon the numberof nodeindependentpathsconnectingrandomlysampled
thesizeof thekpairsof nodes.I thenback-estimate
of node-independcomponentfromthedistribution
ent paths. I estimate confidence intervals by
theresultingdistribution,
thenusing
bootstrapping
distribution
meansat5%and95%.Becausethisestimateis basedon a sample,it is impossibleto identify thesetsof nodesthatcomprisethehigher-order
Theseshouldprobablybe takenas
k-components.
high-endestimates,sincepeoplecanbelongto differentk-components,
thoughmy informalexplorationsof thesedatasuggestthatthis is unlikelyat
theselowerk-levels.

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STRUCTUREOF SOCIALSCIENCECOLLABORATIONNETWORK

nectivity sets. Herewe find thatwhile there are


many 3 and 4 componentsin the network,they
are always very small (usually less than 10
members).These small higher-orderk-components are linked together within the larger
bicomponentin a mannerthatsuggestsa 'ridgestructure',whereeach groupis partiallyembedded with othergroups (Friedkin1998). This is
an image of a loose federation of coauthors
linkedwithinthe widercohesive set (thoughthe
core in the earlyperiod is only a small fraction
of the total), with no significant schisms separatingthe network.
The 1989-1999 period admits to a greater
fraction of the (much larger) bicomponent
embedded in higher-order k-components.
Approximately5,023 (CI = 4,827-5,200) nodes
are embedded in a 3-component, while 2,763
(CI = 2,559-2,885) are in a 4 component and
1,616 (CI = 1,368-1,703) arein componentsof
k > 4. From these estimates, it appearsthat a
substantialnumberof social scientistsaredeeply
embeddedwithin a highly cohesive coauthorship core, and that the size of this core has
increasedover time.
How are these cohesive sets relatedto each
other in the network?The general shape of the
network can be best representedwith a contour sociogram.27In a traditionalsociogram,
points arearrayedspatiallyto minimizethe distance between connectedpoints and maximize
the distance between disconnected points, as
with the largestcomponentin figure 2. Forvery
large networks, a point-and-linesociogram is
uninformative, because nodes simply crowd
each otherout, stackingon top of each otherto
reveal a largely uninformativecloud (just as a
scatterplot of thousandsof points often results
in what appearsto be an even spreadover the
entire space). However,we can use the bivariate distributionof points in this space to identify concentrations of nodes in the network.
Any region of the graphwith a comparatively
high level of cohesion will have a largernumber of nodescrowdedtogetherin thatregion,and
thus a higher probability density value.28

27Tomyknowledge,
thisis thefirsttimenetworks
havebeenrepresented
withthistypeof figure.
28
of pointsis oftenveryuneven,
Theconcentration
resultingin veryjaggedcontourplots.I haveuseda
kernaldensityestimationtechnique
non-parametric

231

Figure5 presentsthe contourplot forthe largest


bicomponentof the pooled network.
The general spherical distributionof nodes
(there are no nodes outside the .21 contour)
suggests that actorsare spreadrelativelyevenly across the possible space, showing no major
divisions.29Withinthis comparativelyflat terrain, there are two more prominenthills (seen
here as those areas with a density of 2.74 and
higher), connected by a high-density ridge
(within the 2.11 contour).A primarysubgroup
analysis of the largestbicomponentrevealsthat
the two peaks differin the topics studied.30The
highest hill in the "South-East"section corresponds to people writing in general sociology,
while the "North-Central"
hill has a concentration of people writing in appliedhealth fields.
As is always the case with cluster analytic
techniques, it is temptingto reify such clusters
at the expense of the generaltopology.Friedkin
(1998) notes thatthe cluster structureof a network can be comparedto geographicaltopography, and describes "ridge structures" as
"sequentially overlapping and densely occupied regions of the social space" (p.125). This
ridge-structureimage seems appropriatefor the
internalstructureof the observedcollaboration
network.Thereare areas of relativeconcentration, but they overlap substantially.As suggested by previous work on the structureof
sociology specialties (Cappell and Guterbock
1992; Daipha 2001; Ennis 1992; Richards
1984), high levels of intergroupcontact,weak
internal structure,and strong overall connectivity point towarda generalizedcohesionwithin the sociology coauthorshipcore. This is a
structurethat should promote theoreticalintegration,since ideas and informationcan potento smooththeresultingsurface,witha bandwidth
of
.8.Alternative
areavailfigureswithless smoothing
ablefromtheauthoron request.
29Contrast
therelatively
evendistribution
of nodes
herewitha largeraciallysegregatednetwork,such
ashttp://www.sociology.ohio-state.edu/jwm/racel.gif.
30 Priorversionsof thispaperincluded
a detailed
structure
of thecorebicomanalysisof thesubgroup
toclustersuncovponent.Thetwopeakscorrespond
ered in the detailed cohesive group analysis.
Combinedtheycontainonly 15.7%of thenodesin
thegraph.Theseresultsareavailable
fromtheauthor
on request.

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232

AMERICANSOCIOLOGICALREVIEW

3. 7

2.74

4.0
3. 7

2.74

2.11
1.48

0.84

0.21
ContourSociogram.Contourvaluesdenote bivariatedensityestimates,indicating
every15thpercentof the rangebetweenthe 5th and 95th percentiles.
NetworkLargestBicomponent(n = 29,462)
Figure 5. Social ScienceCoauthorship

tially flow quite freely, seldom getting trapped


on one side of a topological chasm.
SPECIALTY
AREAANDSTRUCTURAL
EMBEDDEDNESS

If a particulartype of social science dominates


the coauthorshipcore,thenthisconnectedgroup
mighthavegreaterinfluencein shapingquestions
in the field (Crane1972). If, instead,specialties
areevenlydistributed
acrossthenetwork,thenwe
have greaterevidencefor functionalintegration
(Hargens 1975). We can model individual
embeddednesswithinthe coauthorshipnetwork
usinga modelingstrategyparallelto thatused for
networkparticipation.The dependentvariable
now is structuralembeddedness(Moody and

White 2003) in the network:those in small isolatedcomponentsarecoded 1,thosein the largest


connectedcomponentare coded 2, andthose in
the largest bicomponent are coded 3. These
resultsappearin Table5.
In additionto measures defined for the network participation models, I add additional
measures based on the local networkpatterns.
I controlfor networkvolume measures,including the numberof unique collaboratorsand the
average number of authors per paper.
Mentorshipcapturesthe preferentialattachment
hypothesis directly by looking at the relative
publicationfrequencyof coauthors.Mentorship
is measuredas the numberof publicationsfor
the focal individualminus the numberof publications for his/her coauthor,averagedover all

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STRUCTUREOF SOCIALSCIENCECOLLABORATIONNETWORK

233

Table5. OrderedLogisticRegressionof NetworkEmbeddedness


on NetworkandPublicationCharacteristics

Variable
Exposure
Numberof Publications
Yearof 1st Publication
MaleAuthor(probability)
AuthorsperPaper
UniqueCoauthors
Mentorship
CoauthorDiversity
CompleteCoverage
PriorityCoverage

1963-1999

1975-1985

1989-1999

Mod 1 Mod 2 Mod 3

Mod 1 Mod 2 Mod 3

Mod 1 Mod2 Mod 3

1.01
1.17
1.01
.81
.97
1.90
.85
.78
1.41
1.16

Quantitative Work

SpecialtyArea(code)
Radical(25)
Marxist(30)

.70
.57

1.01
1.12
1.01
.83
1.01a
1.81
.85
.86
1.44
1.17

.95a
.76

1.20

History& Theory(2)
Culture& Society(5)
Visual(33)
Language& Arts (13)
PoliticalSociology(9)
Science(17)
Social Change(7)
Religion(15)

1.05a 1.01a
.97a .80
.94a 1.02a
.87
.80
.88
.99a
.81
.89
1.02a .97a
.95
1.01a

Group Interaction (4)

Methodology(1)
Environmental
(26)

1.02a
1.32
1.03
.93a
.82
1.63
.74
1.0a
2.55
1.42

.86

1.02a
1.34
1.02
.93a
.81
1.62
.75
1.09a
2.49
1.38
1.55

1.05
1.14
1.02
.85
1.03
1.61
.73
1.08a
1.31
1.11

1.06
1.16
1.02
.85
1.02a
1.59
.73
1.14
1.35
1.08

.77a .88a
.87a 1.04a

1.83

.32
.56

.43a
.62

.47a
.65

.49
.55a

.87a

.75a

.89a

.90a

.59

.94a

1.06a

.84
.64
.72a
.78
.80
.68
.72
1.00a

1.06a
.81
1.30a
.95a
1.05a
.87
1.00a
1.19

1.09a
.88a
1.49a
.95a
1.04a
.92a
.97a
1.15

1.21

1.21

.95a
.89a
.94a
.93a
1.19
1.07a
.02
1.15
1.20

.92a
.88a
.95a
.91a
1.20
1.11a
.03a
1.14
1.18

1.02a
.82
1.11a
.80
.98a
.90
.97a
1.00a

.98a 1.05a 1.07a


.54
.55
.62
1.01a .97a 1.33a
.61
.65
.69
.74
.81
.81
.89a .94a .94a
.84a .87a .88a
.97a 1.02a 1.00a

.97a

1.07a

1.07a

1.14a

1.17a

.87
.68
.95a
.74
.95
.83
.57
.81
1.07

.96
1.15a
.96a
.82
1.11
.91a
1.15a
1.09
1.04a

.95a
1.17a
.96a
.81
1.11
.94a
1a1.
1.09
1.03a

1.05a
1.52
1.15
.80
1.03a
.94a
1.13a
.80
1.53

1.05a
1.50
1.12a
.80
1.04a

1.05a 1.14
.92 1.03a

1.13
1.05a

1.08a 1.12a 1.10a


1.41 1.41 1.43

.98a

1.12a

1.05a
1.51
1.13a
.81
1.04a
.96a 1.02a
1.13a 1.12a
.83
.82
1.57 1.53
-

.96a

.71
.65
.78
.73
1.01a
.82
.04
.92
.92a
.81

1.19
.85

.96a

.98a

1.15a

1.12a

1.14a

1.13a

Demography(18)
SocialDiffer.(10)

.98a 1.06a
.88
1.14

1.04a
1.12

1.30
1.13

1.30 1.21
1.15a 1.11a

1.00a 1.20
.96a 1.21

1.15
1.16

.96a

1.03a

1.02a

1.08a

1.19a

1.15a

1.03a

1.26

1.25

1.01a
.73
1.12a
.91
1.20
1.12
1.13
1.08

1.10
1.11
1.29a
1.19
1.23
1.18
1.19
1.13

1.10
1.09
1.28a
1.17
1.21
1.16
1.18
1.14

.83
1.06a
1.51a
.96a
1.23
1.07
1.12
.86

.86
1.08a
1.46a
.97a
1.25
1.07a
1.13a
.88a

.85
1.07a
1.21a
.94a
1.24
1.04a
1.12a
.88a

.95a
.90
.99a
1.07
1.13
1.18
1.21
1.16

1.16
1.10
1.38a
1.33
1.31
1.40
1.43
1.35

1.19
1.06a
1.25a
1.29
1.28
1.35
1.40
1.35

.506

.511

.418

.422

.489

.497

SocialPlan/Policy(72/35)
ComplexOrgs(6)
Business(32)
SocialPsychology(3)
SocialProblems(21)
Family(19)
Health(20)
SocialWelfare(61/34)
R-Square

.499b

.404b

1.10a

86,498
24,897
Note: Datashownas oddsratios.Unlessotherwisenoted,all cell valuesaresignificantatp
detailedsignificancelevels areavailablefromthe author).Mod= Model.
a Valueis not
significantat thep < .01
b Pertains
only to the publicationanddemographiccharacteristics.

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.98a

1.48 1.45
1.08a 1.06a

Violence (28)

Poverty (27)

.98a

1.04
1.33
1.02
.82
1.00a
1.69
.72
.97a
1.17
1.09

.99a
.77

.92

Education (14)

1.02a
1.36
1.02
.91
.82
1.62
.74
1.02a
2.94
1.54

1.58

Knowledge (22)

Urban(12)
CommunityDevelopment(23)
FemaleGender(29)
SocialDevelopment(83 = 36)
SocialControl(16)
Policy& Plan(24)
Clinical(31)
MassPhenomena(8)
Rural(11)

1.01
1.13
1.01
.83
1.00a
1.80
.85
.88
1.46
1.14

.478b

56,632
.01 (tableswith

234

AMERICAN
SOCIOLOGICAL
REVIEW

coauthors.Mentorswill thus have largepositive


scores.Coauthordiversitymeasuresthe extentto
which a person coauthorswith differentcoauthors, relativeto their opportunityto coauthor
with others.This is calculatedas the numberof
observedcoauthorsdividedby themaximumpossible numberof coauthorsgiven the numberof
paperspublishedand the numberof authorson
each paper.31We would expect that those who
have higher coauthordiversitywould be more
deeplyembeddedin the coauthorshipnetwork.
As withnetworkparticipation,time in the discipline(exposure)increasesthelikelihoodof being
in the core of the network,thoughmore so in the
laterperiodthanin the earlyperiod.As expected,
the numberof publicationsis also a strongpredictorof being in the core, as is the numberof
uniquecoauthors.Relativediversityof coauthorshippatternsresultsin a lowerlikelihoodof being
atthe coreoverall,butthemagnitudeis smalland
inconsistentovertime. In the laterperiod,coauthorshipdiversityincreasesthelikelihoodof being
at the core of the network,while it is nonsignificant in the early period. Mentorshipis consistentlynegativelyrelatedto beingattheheartof the
network.Totheextentthatthistypeof publication
patterncapturesshop production,it may be that
thoseshopsarerelativelyisolatedorthatstudents
do notthengo on to writewithnew people.32Just
as maleswereless likelyto coauthor,conditional
on coauthorship,males are less likely to occupy
thecoreof thenetworksuggestingthatfemalesare
stronglyintegratedinto the overallnetworkcore
of the discipline.33
Looking at the multivariatemodels for specialtyarea(model2), the generalpatternof coefficientsis similarto thatfornetworkparticipation.
Thosewritingin areassuchas theoryandculture

31

are slightlymorelikely to be at the peripheryof


the networkand social psychology,sociology of
business,familyandsocialwelfaremorelikelyto
be atthe core,butthemagnitudesaremuchsmaller. Many of the areasare not statisticallydistinguishable from average, even with the large
statisticalpowerin thesemodels,andthe relative
size of the oddsratiosis muchcloserto 1 thanin
the coauthorshipmodels.A clearsummaryof the
weaknessof specialtyforpredictingembeddedness
is seen in the changein model fit with andwithout specialtyfields.Acrossall threenetworks,the
models only weaklyimproveby addingspecialty
areato the individualattributes.
Turningto model
workincreasesembed3, we findthatquantitative
dedness,buthas almostno effecton the value of
the specialtyareacoefficientsnordoes it improve
the model much.
Substantively,these models suggestthatonce
one entersthecoauthorshipnetwork,thekey predictorsof positionare individualandpublication
characteristics.In contrastto networkinvolvement,specialtyareais a weakpredictorof network
embeddedness.Turningthis finding around,it
suggeststhatthe cohesivecoreis spreadrelatively evenlyacrossthespecialtyareasatriskto coauthorship.34
CONCLUSIONAND DISCUSSION:
SOCIALINTEGRATIONIN THE
SOCIALSCIENCES
is becomingincreasingly
morecomCoauthorship
mon in the social sciences. Nearly half of all
papers and over two thirdsof all papersin the

trollingfordatabasecoverage.Thoseauthorswho
publishin completeor priorityjournalsaremore
likely to be in the core of the network.

Thanksto an anonymousreviewerfor sug34 Previous readers suggested that this permethese


measures.
ability
mightbe due to the largenumberof peogesting
321 havealsotesteda cohortbasedmentormeasple with few publications (such as graduate
ure, identifyingthose authorsthatare olderthan studentswho publishin disparateareas).Having
to the
theircoauthors(as measuredby first publication publishedlittle, they may be unimportant
generalcharacterof sociologicalproduction.In
appearance).The measureis eitherunrelatedto
core membershipor negative,in muchthe same response,I haveconstructeda networkof people
with morethan3 publicationsandwho havebeen
way as the publicationvolumemeasure.
33Prioranalyseson the subgroupstructuresugin the disciplinefor morethan5 years.This sigin smallergroupswithinthe
nificantlylowersthe samplesize but not its gengeststhatmembership
eraltopology.A greaterproportionof peopleare
largestbicomponentdifferby gender,with males
morelikelyto be in the peakregionat the south- in the largestbicomponent,but the bicomponent
east cornerof figure5. As with the coauthorship is no more fracturedthan when using the full
model,the embeddednessmodelbenefitsby consample.

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STRUCTURE
OF SOCIALSCIENCE
COLLABORATION
NETWORK 235

ASR are coauthored.Coauthorshipis not evenly distributedacross sociological work.As predicted by others,coauthorshipis more likely in
specialties that admit to an easier division of
labor. Research method seems particularly
important, showing that quantitativework is
more likely to be coauthoredthan non-quantitativework.Whilethereis a specialtygap in network participation, among those who have
participated,specialty area is only a weak predictor of networkembeddedness.Thus,just as
heterogeneity provides only limited information on social integration(Moody 2001), observations aboutfractionalizationin the discipline
based on increasing numbers of specialties
might be misleading.The coauthorshippattern
shows a steadily growing cohesive core, suggesting that while authors might specialize,
their skills marrywell with others creatingan
integratedcollaborationnetwork.
How do we account for the observed collaborationpattern?Twocomplimentaryimages
of science productionare suggestive. Abbott's
(2001) descriptionof social science as having
permeabletheoreticalboundariessuggests that
specialization within the social sciences does
not necessarilygeneratedivisionsbetweenspecialists. Instead, competitors actively borrow
ideas from each other (even if under new
names), to cover the availableidea space. This
free mixing means that one's coauthors need
not coauthorwith each other,and thus the network as a whole admitsto little clusteringand
few schisms, insteadspreadingquicklyoverthe
relevant idea spaces representedin the discipline. Friedkin's(1998) work suggests a specialty analogueto Abbott'scompetitivemixing
model. Friedkinfound thatwhile contactclustered within specialties, these clusters where
strongly connected to each other,creatingnetwork conduits throughwhich ideas and information flow. Tie heterogeneity within groups
means that groups can act as bridges between
other groups but still maintain internal cohesion (Paxtonand Moody 2002). Fleshingthese
hypotheses out will require examining the
internalstructureof the collaborationnetwork
in more detail, though preliminarywork suggests that Friedkin'smodel fits for short-run
images of later periods of the collaboration
graph.
What do these findings suggest for the
prospects of scientific consensus in sociolo-

gy?35Data limitations demand cautious interpretations,but the structureis suggestive.First,


the two most prominentmodels for consensus
in an idea space are throughreferencesto recognizedauthority(Martin2002; Crane1972) or
distributed interpersonal influence (Friedkin
1998). Both models suggestthatsystematicdifferences in networkparticipationwill generate
an ideational gulf between those involved in
the networkand those without collaborations.
In this case, the majordivide centerslargelyon
researchmethod (quantitativeor not) and theoreticalfocus (radical,cultural,andinterpretive
modes against largelypositivist and empiricist
modes). While this gulf appears substantial,
increasingcollaborationover-timesuggeststhat
it might be shrinking.
The two theoreticalapproachesoffer slightly different predictions for future consensus
within the connected collaboration network.
The interpersonalinfluencemodel suggeststhat
high overallcohesion will generategeneralized
consensus, as ideas circulateamong the scientists connectedin the network,thoughthe longterm natureof the networksuggests this might
be a slow affair.A finer-level predictionis that
consensus should be directly correlatedwith
structuralembeddedness,and those embedded
in higher order k-componentswould be more
similarto each otherthanthose at the fringesof
the network.However,the networkdoes admit
to a largeinequalityin numbersof collaborators,
indicatingclearstarseven thoughthesestarsare
not essential for connectingthe entirenetwork.
Martin'sauthority-based
perspectivewouldsuggest that those actorswith many collaborators
might have much moreinfluence shapingideas

35While suggestive,suchproposalscome with


is a clearindilargecaveats.Althoughcoauthorship
catorof socialconnection,it is a stringentone.The
traceof interaction
canbe foundonlyafterthecolItis likeis recorded
laboration
throughpublication.
arelayeredon
ly thatothertypesof socialinteraction
network,whichwouldliketopof thecoauthorship
ly leadto greaterlevelsof cohesionthanthatobserved
throughthe coauthorshipnetwork.Second,the
SociologicalAbstractareacodes may correlateonly

divisionthat
weaklywith the humanist-positivist
troubles
buildingnecessaryambimanysociologists,
ignores
guityintothesefindings.Third,thedatabase
book publications,which might systematically
excludesomeareasmorethanothers.

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236

REVIEW
AMERICAN
SOCIOLOGICAL

thanothers,perhapsactingas "pumps"for ideas


that are then quickly circulated through the
well-connected regions of the collaboration
graph.
While we lack the data necessary to answer
this question directly, I suspect that the two
approachesarebothcorrectfor differentaspects
of scientific consensus. I suspect thatthe high
overallcohesion levels will generateconsensus
with respect to methodsand rules of evidence,
but thatstarswill act as "areaauthorities"with
respect to particulartheoretical or empirical
claims. Thus, as methodological change continues to foster a division of labor based on
how we do research,this will generateconsensus on what counts as valid evidence for making scientific claims. However,competitionfor
status within the discipline will likely revolve
around stars who generate new ideas at the
intersection of different research specialties.
Classic treatmentsof the division of laborsuggest that such integratedspecializationshould
lead to organic solidarity,though this need not
lead to a unification of particular ideas
(Durkheim [1933] 1984; Hargens 1975;
Hagstrom 1965; Whitley2000). Perhaps,then,
as Durkheimfirst suggested,cohesive collaboration networks will simultaneouslyallow for
theoreticaldiversityand scientific consensus.
James Moody is an AssistantProfessorofSociology
at the Ohio State University.His researchfocuses
broadlyon social networks,withparticular interest
in linkingindividualaction to global networkdynamics. In addition to workon networkmethods,he has
worked on questions related to the formation and
dynamicsof adolescentfriendship networks,the diffusion of sexually transmitteddiseases, and the networkfoundationsfor social solidarity.

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