Book Chapter

Scientific collaboration networks in the interdisciplinary field of biodiversity in central Germany

In: Indiana University (Ed.): 19th International Conference on Scientometrics and Informetrics, ISSI 2023: 2-5 July 2023, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA; proceedings: volume 1, 19–41
Bloomington, IN, Indiana University (2023)
Open Access


Examining the effectiveness of institutional scientific coalitions informs future policies. Since 1995, three universities in a central region in Germany have formed a coalition which later established an interdisciplinary centre. We consider the structure of scientific collaborations between coalition members, and the new centre within their regional context. We investigate the coalition’s impact on the region’s structure of collaborations with a specific focus on the field of biodiversity. Using publications data from 1996-2018 and co-authorship networks, we identify the most cohesive communities in the region and compare them with the scientific outcome of the coalition and new centre. Our results show that the newly established interdisciplinary centre has extensively bridged the member institutions. Yet, we identified more unrealized potential in the region. The level of interdisciplinary collaboration the coalition achieved could inform policymakers regarding other regions’ and fields’ scientific development plans. Nevertheless, geographical proximity, collaboration policies, funding, and organizational structure alone would not ensure a comprehensive scientific collaboration structure such as the one that the coalition aimed to construct.

Keywords: Germany, network science, science
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.