Collaboration Capacity: Measuring the Impact of Cyberinfrastructure-Enabled Collaboration Networks

Jian Qin, Jeff Hemsley, Sarah Bratt

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This paper reports a study of the incremental impact of evolving cyberinfrastructure (CI)-enabled collaboration networks on scientific capacity and knowledge diffusion. While ample research shows how collaboration contributes to greater productivity, higher-quality scientific outputs, and increased probability of breakthroughs, it is unclear how the early stages of collaboration on data creation supports knowledge generation and diffusion. Further, it is not known whether the ability to garner larger inputs increases collaboration capacity and subsequently accelerates the rate of knowledge diffusion. Given that the collaboration capacity of a science team is largely dependent upon the Scientific and Technical (S&T) Human Capital, the greater a researcher’s S&T human capital, the greater the opportunity to collaborate and access resources. We use “Collaboration Capacity” to refer to this measure of S&T human capital. In this study, we collected metadata for molecular sequences in GenBank from 1990-2013. The data contain details about sequences, submission date, submitter(s), and associated publications and authors. Based on the collaboration capacity framework, we focused on the relationship between collaboration network size and research productivity and the role of CI-enabled data repositories in accelerating collaboration capacity. Our preliminary results show that the size of CI-enabled collaboration networks at data creation stage was positively related to research productivity as measured by sequence data production, and the extent and rate of knowledge diffusion, represented by patent applications. Shrinking time gaps between data submissions and patent applications support the hypothesis that CI-enabled data repositories are an accelerating factor in incremental collaboration capacity.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages12
StatePublished - May 2018
Event Science of Team Science (SciTS) 2018 Conference - Galveston, United States
Duration: May 21 2018May 24 2018
Conference number: 2018


Conference Science of Team Science (SciTS) 2018 Conference
Abbreviated titleSciTS
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • Collaboration capacity
  • Collaboration networks
  • Big metadata analytics
  • GenBank data repository
  • Research impact assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Library and Information Sciences


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