, Volume 98, Issue 3, pp 1745–1762 | Cite as

Collaboration network and pattern analysis: case study of dye-sensitized solar cells

  • Xuefeng Wang
  • Rongrong Li
  • Shiming Ren
  • Donghua Zhu
  • Meng Huang
  • Pengjun Qiu


Nowadays, the development of emerging technology has become a double-edged sword in the scientific world. It can not only bring lots of innovation to society, but may also cause some terrible consequences due to its unknown factors. International collaboration may be able to reduce risks, which means a lot to the exploration of the emerging technology. Taking dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) as an example, this paper examines the rapid growth of Chinese DSSCs research and the rise of collaboration between China and other countries/region. We use bibliometric and social network analysis methods to explore the patterns of scientific collaboration at country, institution and individual levels using data from the Science Citation Index. Examining overall trends shows that China has increased her position in DSSCs around the world. Furthermore, by focusing on the individual level, we find that the most influential authors tend to have fixed co-author networks and author name order, which is something worth considering. We use co-author analysis software independently developed to check three kinds of fixed co-author networks to explore author contributions, influence, and Author Activity Index rank in collaboration networks and use the rank we calculated to further explain author contributions in the networks. Results show that Chinese-X (e.g., Chinese-American) authors have pushed the collaboration between country and country and almost every kind of small network has a top author in it to gather others together. The modified author activity index rank list may reflect real research level. Author collaboration patterns have been impacted by the kinds of their institutions to some degree. These results can undoubtedly promote the international collaboration and the innovation process in the similar emerging technology fields.


Bibliometrics Dye-sensitized solar cells Author activity index Collaboration network Authorship collaboration 



This research is partly funded by the General Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No.71373019), the National Key Technology R&D Program (Grant No. 2013BAH20F01) and the Program for Excellent Talents in Beijing of China (Grant No. 2011D009011000006). The authors would like to thank for the help from all teachers, especially Alan L. Porter, Jan Youtie and Philip Shapira in co-lab of Technology Innovation from Beijing Institute of Technology, Georgia Tech and the University of Manchester and Harry Rothman who is the chief-editor of Technology Analysis and Strategic Management (TASM) Journal.


  1. Beaver, D. B., & Rosen, R. (1978). Studies in scientific collaboration. I. The professional origins of scientific co-authorship. Scientometrics, 1(1), 65–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bozeman, B., & Corley, E. (2004). Scientists’ collaboration strategies: Implications for scientific and technical human capital. Research Policy, 33(4), 599–616.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chen, C. (2006). CiteSpace II: Detecting and visualizing emerging trends and transient patterns in scientific literature. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 57(3), 359–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chen, C. (2013). CiteSpace: Visualizing Patterns and Trends in Scientific Literature., May 25, 2013.
  5. Frame, J. D. (1977). Mainstream research in Latin America and Caribbean. Interciencia, 2(2), 143–148.Google Scholar
  6. Freeman, L. C. (1979). Centrality in social networks: Conceptual clarification. Social Networks, 1, 215–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Guo, Y., Ma, T., Porter, A. L., & Huang, L. (2012). Text mining of information resources to inform Forecasting Innovation Pathways. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 24(8), 843–861.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. He, T. (2009). International scientific collaboration of China with the G7 countries. Scientometrics, 80(3), 571–582.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Huang, M. -H., Dong, H. -R., & Chen, D. -Z. (2013). The unbalanced performance and regional differences in scientific and technological collaboration in the field of solar cells. Scientometrics, 94(1), 423–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hui, Z. , Cai, X., G., J. -M, & Wang, Q. A. (2011). Structure and collaboration relationship analysis in a scientific collaboration network. Chinese Science Bulletin, 56(1), 3702–3706.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ileperuma, O. A. (2013). Gel polymer electrolytes for dye sensitized solar cells: A review. Materials Technology: Advanced Performance Materials, 28(1–2), 65–70.Google Scholar
  12. Jin, B., & Rousseau, R. (2005). China’s quantitative expansion phase: Exponential growth but low impact. Informetrics, 1–2, 362–370.Google Scholar
  13. Katz, J. S., & Martin, B. R. (1997). What is research collaboration? Research Policy, 26(1), 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kostoff, R. N. (2011). Comparison of China/USA science and technology performance. Journal of Informetrics, 2008(2), 354–363.Google Scholar
  15. Kostoff, R. N., Briggs, M., Rushenberg, R., Bowles, C. A., Icenhour, A. S., Nikodym, K. F., et al. (2007). Chinese science and technology? Structure and infrastructure. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 74(9), 1539–1573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kostoff, R. N., Rigsby, J. T., & Barth, R. B. (2006). Brief communication adjacency and proximity searching in the Science Citation Index and Google. The Journal of Information Science, 32(6), 581–587.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kun L. and Dietmar W. (2012). Measuring author research relatedness: A comparison of word-based, topic-based, and author cocitation approaches. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 63(10), 1973–1986.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Liu, X., Zhang, P., Li, X., Chen, H., Dang, Y., Larson, C., et al. (2009). Trends for nanotechnology development in China, Russia, and India. Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 11(8), 1845–1866.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Luukkonen, T., Persson, O., & Sivertsen, G. (1992). Understanding patterns of international scientific collaboration. Science, Technology and Human Values, 17(1), 101–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Melin, G. (2000). Pragmatism and self-organization: Research collaboration on the individual level. Research Policy, 29(1), 31–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Newman, M. E. J. (2001). Scientific collaboration networks. I. Network construction and fundamental results. Physical Review E, 64(1), 1–8.Google Scholar
  22. Robin, S., & Schubert, T. (2013). Cooperation with public research institutions and success in innovation: Evidence from France and Germany. Research Policy, 42(1), 149–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Schubert, A., & Braun, T. (1986). Relative indicators and relational charts for comparative assessment of publication output and citation impact. Scientometrics, 9(5/6), 281–291.Google Scholar
  24. Tang, Li, & Shapira, P. (2011). US scientific collaboration in nanotechnology: Patterns and dynamics. Scientometrics, 88(1), 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Tscharntke, T., Hochberg, M. E., Rand, T. A., Resh, V. H., & Krauss, J. (2007). Author sequence and credit for contributions in multiauthored publications. PLoS Biology, 5(1), 13–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Wang, G., & Guan, J. (2011). Measuring science–technology interactions using patent citations and author-inventor links: An exploration analysis from Chinese nanotechnology. Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 13(12), 6245–6262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Wang, X., Shenmeng, X., Liu, D., & Liang, Y. (2012). The role of Chinese–American scientists in China–US scientific collaboration: a study in nanotechnology. Scientometrics, 91, 737–749.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Zhang, F., Jiang, P., Zhu, Q., & Cao, W. (2012). Modeling and analyzing of an enterprise collaboration network supported by service-oriented manufacturing. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part B-Journal of Engineering Manufacture, 226(B9), 1579–1593.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Zhao, D. (2006). Towards all-author co-citation analysis. Information Processing and Management, 42(6), 1578–1591.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Zhao, D., & Strotmann, A. (2008). Comparing all-author and first-author co-citation analyses of information science. Journal of Informetrics, 2(3), 229–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Zuckerman Harriet A. (1968). Patterns of name ordering among authors of scientific papers: A study of social symbolism and its ambiguity. American Journal of Sociology, 74(3), 276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xuefeng Wang
    • 1
  • Rongrong Li
    • 1
  • Shiming Ren
    • 1
  • Donghua Zhu
    • 1
  • Meng Huang
    • 1
  • Pengjun Qiu
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Management & EconomicsBeijing Institute of TechnologyBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations