Does Coauthorship matter for Scientific Productivity? Evidence from Geography's Top Journals

Lara Togni

Research output: Working paper


The aim of this paper is to investigate the relationship between scientific productivity and collaborative behaviours (formal and informal). Despite the different approaches available in the literature, we will focus on what we call the “relational trend”: our goal is to detect some of the factors which might affect researchers’ productivity, considering “relational variables”. In particular, the tendency to write papers in co-authorship will be used as a proxy of formal scientific collaboration amongst scientists, while the number of acknowledgements will be assumed as a proxy of the scientist’s ability to build informal collaboration networks. Both co-authorships and acknowledgments indices are interpreted as two of the main forces which could affect and drive scientific production, apart from individual talent. Using the dataset developed by Togni (2009) which collects data about geographers’ publications on the Top Journals in the years 2000-2007, an econometric analysis using two-stage least squares has been performed, in order to regress productivity on a series of other indices, including (amongst the others) a typical SNA index of centrality (betweenness centrality). Three results clearly emerged from the analysis: co-authorships networks affect productivity in a negative way, but a variety of co-authors may increase geographers’ productivity; on the contrary, informal influence (acknowledgments network) on productivity seems not to have any effect on productivity. Finally, a trade-off between the transaction costs from the collaboration and the need to mutual exchange of skills and knowledge complementarities which boost scientists to vary their co-authors.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Coauthorships
  • Econometric analysis
  • Impact Factor
  • Scientific productivity
  • Social Network Analysis


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