, Volume 117, Issue 1, pp 85–103 | Cite as

Important institutions of interinstitutional scientific collaboration networks in materials science

  • Yang Li
  • Huajiao LiEmail author
  • Nairong Liu
  • Xueyong Liu


Interinstitutional scientific collaboration plays an important role in knowledge production and scientific development. Together with the increasing scale of scientific collaboration, a few institutions that positively participate in interinstitutional scientific collaboration are important in collaboration networks. However, whether becoming an important institution in collaboration networks could be a contributing factor to research success and how these important institutions collaborate are still indistinct. In this paper, we identified the scientific institutions that possess the highest degree centrality as important institutions of an interinstitutional scientific collaboration network in materials science and examined their collaboration preferences utilizing several network measures. We first visualized the appearance of these important institutions that had the most positive collaborations in the interinstitutional scientific collaboration networks during the period of 2005–2015 and found an obvious scale-free feature in interinstitutional scientific collaboration networks. Then, we measured the advantages of being important in collaboration networks to research performance and found that positive interinstitutional collaborations can always bring both publication advantages and citation advantages. Finally, we identified two collaboration preferences of these important institutions in collaboration networks—one type of important institution represented by the Chinese Academy of Science plays an intermediary role between domestic institutions and foreign institutions with high betweenness centrality and a low clustering coefficient. This type of important institution has better performance in the number of publications. The other type of important institution represented by MIT tends to collaborate with similar institutions that have positive collaborations and possess a larger citation growth rate. Our finding can provide a better understanding of important institutions’ collaboration preferences and have significant reference for government policy and institutional collaboration strategies.


Network Scientific collaboration Materials science Important institutions Collaboration preference 



This research is supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41701121). The authors would like to express their gratitude to Prof. Haizhong An, Dr. Xiangyun Gao and Dr. Shupei Huang who provided valuable suggestions, and AJE-American Journal Experts who provided professional suggestions about language usage, spelling, and grammar.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Economics and ManagementChina University of GeosciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Carrying Capacity Assessment for Resource and EnvironmentMinistry of Land and ResourcesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Strategic StudiesMinistry of Land and ResourcesBeijingChina

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