Social Network Analysis of the Academic GIScience Community

The Professional Geographer, first published on 13 December 2010

Shipeng Sun; Steven M. Manson

“There is mounting interest among scientists regarding the use of scientometric social network analysis, or quantitative analysis of the evolution of science as defined by individual researchers and the networks they form. Given that geographers have seldom used this approach compared to researchers in other fields, its implications for research and policy need to be assessed. We applied scientometric social network analysis to geographic information science (GIScience) to understand how the field has evolved over the last sixteen years and to assess the applicability of the standard logistic model of the growth of scientific disciplines. In particular, we examined collaboration in the field at multiple scales, namely, the evolution of the entire research network structure, the nature of subnetworks in defining geographic information science, and the roles individuals play within the community. By delineating how collaborations and research networks have evolved in GIScience, the study addresses the potential of scientometric social network analysis for geography. ”