An exploration of collaborative scientific production at MIT through spatial organization and institutional affiliation
Author(s)Claudel, Matthew; Massaro, Emanuele; Santi, Paolo; Murray, Fiona E; Ratti, Carlo
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This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Academic research is increasingly cross-disciplinary and collaborative, between and within institutions. In this context, what is the role and relevance of an individual’s spatial position on a campus? We examine the collaboration patterns of faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, through their academic output (papers and patents), and their organizational structures (institutional affiliation and spatial configuration) over a 10-year time span. An initial comparison of output types reveals: 1. diverging trends in the composition of collaborative teams over time (size, faculty versus non-faculty, etc.); and 2. substantively different patterns of cross-building and cross-disciplinary collaboration. We then construct a multi-layered network of authors, and find two significant features of collaboration on campus: 1. a network topology and community structure that reveals spatial versus institutional collaboration bias; and 2. a persistent relationship between proximity and collaboration, well fit with an exponential decay model. This relationship is consistent for both papers and patents, and present also in exclusively cross-disciplinary work. These insights contribute an architectural dimension to the field of scientometrics, and take a first step toward empirical space-planning policy that supports collaboration within institutions.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning; Sloan School of Management
Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Claudel, Matthew et al. “An Exploration of Collaborative Scientific Production at MIT through Spatial Organization and Institutional Affiliation.” Edited by Igor Linkov. PLOS ONE 12, 6 (June 2017): e0179334 © 2017 Claudel et al
Final published version