Theoretical Approaches to Research Collaboration Networks

Abstract This chapter presents a pertinent literature review about theoretical approaches to research collaboration networks. Research networks are the object of study in the new science of networks. In this science domain, research network can be conceptualized as a web of connections among scientists and collaborators whose relations on creating coauthorship interaction produce knowledge circulation and innovation. Collaboration processes, during research networks’ life cycle, converge to the acquisition of individual and collective scientific and social capital. We also introduce the notion of group theory and the importance of considering social and psychological relations inside a network research group. Searching for specific studies on the collaboration, we describe the learning component of collaboration, for example, the contribution of shared cognition to makeup a productive agency inside a research network.

Keywords Research network literature • Network communities • Networks’ life cycle • Scientific capital • Shared cognition • Productive agency

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