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Collaboration Networks in Basic and Applied Scientific Research

Track Coordinators: Maria Rosaria Carillo and Alessandro Sapio (Department of Business and Economic Studies, Parthenope University of Naples).

In recent years, governance and organizational design have emerged as essential in fostering scientific productivity (Aghion et al., 2010; Carayol and Matt, 2004; Geuna and Muscio 2009). A burgeoning trend in scientific and technological collaborations within academia and along the university-industry linkages is observed in all research fields (Durden and Perri, 1995; Wagner and Leydesdorff, 2005; Goyal et al., 2006; Leydesdorff and Etzkowitz, 1996). Collaboration can manifest itself through co-authorship of scientific articles and patents, as well as in less formal modes, such as visiting periods, academic conferences, and consulting activities, whether carried out individually or mediated by the administrative structures of universities (departments, technology transfer offices).

        The empirical evidence so far has highlighted the positive impact of academic collaborations on the quality of scientific publications, as measured by citation counts, the H-index, or the results of national research assessments (Laband and Tollison 2000; Carillo et al. 2008; Waldinger 2012; Carillo et al. 2013). This is particularly true of international collaborations, that allow a better matching among scientists (Rosenblat and Möbius 2004). Yet, researchers find their academic partners through established links, such as information channels inherited from their mentors; also, university-industry collaborations tend to be facilitated by spatial proximity (Audretsch and Stephan, 1996; Santoro, 2000). Path dependencies and lock-in phenomena rooted in knowledge tacitness and the existence of knowledge spillovers drive the emergent network of collaborations away from the socially optimal structure, a trend that is reinforced by public budget cuts. This raises questions concerning the nature and the extent of the government role: from rule-maker, creating incentives for network formation (Katz and Martin, 1997; Adams et al. 2005; Bonaccorsi and Daraio 2005), to public entrepreneur whose functions are intertwined with those of firms and universities (see research on the Triple Helix summarized in Etzkowitz, 2008).

        • This track welcomes empirical, theoretical, and policy-oriented works concerning the following, non-exhaustive list of topics:
        • Statistical properties of real-world scientific collaboration networks
        • Network formation models: behavioral and institutional determinants
        • The effects of scientific collaboration on the quality of academic outputs
        • Identification of efficient network structures
        • Governance of the university-industry interactions and its impact on scientific and technological performance.



Adams, James D., Grant C. Black, J. Roger Clemmons, and Paula E. Stephan. "Scientific teams and institutional collaborations: Evidence from US universities, 1981–1999." Research Policy 34.3 (2005): 259-285.

        Aghion, Philippe, Mathias Dewatripont, Caroline Hoxby, Andreu Mas‐Colell, and André Sapir. "The governance and performance of universities: evidence from Europe and the US." Economic Policy 25.61 (2010): 7-59.

        Audretsch, David B., and Paula E. Stephan. "Company-scientist locational links: The case of biotechnology." The American Economic Review 86.3 (1996): 641-652.

        Bonaccorsi, Andrea, and Cinzia Daraio. "Exploring size and agglomeration effects on public research productivity." Scientometrics 63.1 (2005): 87-120.

        Carayol, Nicolas, and Mireille Matt. "Does research organization influence academic production?: Laboratory level evidence from a large European university." Research Policy 33.8 (2004): 1081-1102.

        Carillo, Maria Rosaria, Erasmo Papagni, and Fabian Capitanio. "Effects of social interactions on scientists' productivity." International Journal of Manpower 29.3 (2008): 263-279.

        Carillo, Maria Rosaria, Erasmo Papagni, and Alessandro Sapio, “Do collaborations enhance the high-quality output of scientific institutions? Evidence from the Italian Research Assessment Exercise.” Journal of Socio-Economics 47 (2013): 25-36.

        Durden, Garey C., and Timothy J. Perri. "Coauthorship and publication efficiency." Atlantic economic journal 23.1 (1995): 69-76.

        Etzkowitz, Henry. The triple helix: University-industry-government innovation in action. Routledge, 2008.

        Geuna, Aldo, and Alessandro Muscio. "The governance of university knowledge transfer: A critical review of the literature." Minerva 47.1 (2009): 93-114.

        Goyal, Sanjeev, Marco J. Van Der Leij, and José Luis Moraga‐González. "Economics: An emerging small world." Journal of Political Economy 114.2 (2006): 403-412.

        Katz, J. Sylvan, and Ben R. Martin. "What is research collaboration?." Research policy 26.1 (1997): 1-18.
Laband, David N., and Robert D. Tollison. "Intellectual collaboration." Journal of Political Economy 108.3 (2000): 632-662.

        Leydesdorff, Loet, and Henry Etzkowitz. "Emergence of a Triple Helix of university—industry—government relations." Science and Public Policy 23.5 (1996): 279-286.

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