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Capturing knowledge integration through collaborations: measures of the diversity and coherence in multiple proximity dimensions

AuthorsLang, Frédérique; Rafols, Ismael ; Hopkins, Michael M.
Issue Date2016
PublisherUniversidad Politécnica de Valencia
CitationProceedings of the 21st International Conference on Science and Technology Indicators: 485-496 (2016)
AbstractThis paper proposes a novel approach to determine changes that occur as a result of collaborations that is intended to support knowledge integration. The approach combines and applies indicators of proximity, diversity, coherence and has potential applications in the study and evaluation of research collaborations. The scientometric literature has been exploring the topic of knowledge integration and interdisciplinarity for more than a decade (Bordons, 2004; Zitt, 2005; Rafols, 2014). The paper builds on the line of research that seeks to develop measures of knowledge integration, namely diversity and coherence (Rafols, 2014). Successful exchange and integration of knowledge through collaboration not only requires disciplinary or cognitive diversity, as previously studied in the scientometric literature (Rafols & Meyer, 2009; Rafols, 2014) but also other dimensions linked to the social, cultural background of the individuals involved. Economic geographers have developed a framework, the proximity framework (Boschma, 2005), identifying five features that may be important for collaborative learning which are: cognitive, social, geographical, institutional, and organisational proximities. The paper therefore proposes to use the diversity and coherence measures to not only look at diversity from a cognitive standpoint, but also apply it to the other proximities proposed in the Boschma framework. These indicators will capture the relationship occurring between individuals taking part in the research and the categories (proximity dimensions) that they are associated to. This paper reviews and integrates concepts from economic geography with the scientometric literature on interdisciplinarity to form a conceptual framework that the paper applies to an illustrative case study. In order to apply the framework, the paper develops indicators for diversity and coherence that can be applied to each of Boschma’s five proximities. The illustrative case study looks at collaborations between individuals within a biomedical research project on Podoconiosis. The method aims to build not only indicators to look at diversity in collaboration, but also new ways of mapping relationships using the proximity framework.
DescriptionTrabajo presentado a la 21st International Conference on Science and Technology Indicators: "Peripheries, frontiers and beyond", celebrada en Valencia (España) del 14 al 16 de septiembre de 2016.
Identifiersisbn: 978-84-9048-519-4
Appears in Collections:(INGENIO) Libros y partes de libros
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