Graph visualization for author relationships in scientific publications

A graph is a powerful tool to study objects and their relationship to each other. It consists of nodes, which are some kind of objects, and edges between these nodes. The latter one represent some kind of relationsship between the nodes. The relationsship can be directional, which might be a higher rank (like in parent – children relationship), or effect and cause relationsship. They can also be bidirectional, like in marriage, where it is only connected.

Such a graph can be used to study relationsships between authors of scientific publications. Having co-authored a publication with somebody else means some kind of collaboration in the form of a joined research project, funding of projects, visits as guest to other institutes, or something else. Higher amount of co-authored publications in general means a high level of cooperation, for example a collaboration between two institutes lasting several years.

In order to identify key contributors to a certain area of interest, an author with a high number of publications and a high number of edges to other authors. This statement is controversial, as major contributions to specific areas have been done with a small amount of publications of only a small amount of authors. But let’s keep that aside and remember it for a later discussion with the results of the conducted research

1st Graph This is an example of such a graph showing several authors and their relation to each other. The authors are drawn in blue with a label including the number of their publications. The co-authored publications are marked with red edges between the authors, where a label and the line thickness is showing the number of it. In the example shown above, the major contributor is A. Darabi, other major authors are A. Abidi and A. Mirzai.

In the following posts, I will give more detail of how to create and draw such a graph, how to get the data, and how to filter the results for better visibility of the figure.

What do you think of the approach in general? What kind of research can be done with such graphs? I would be happy to start a discussion!


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