This exploratory study applies social network analysis techniques to existing, publicly available data to understand collaboration patterns within the co-author network of a federally-funded, interdisciplinary research program. The central questions asked: What underlying social capital structures can be determined about a group of researchers from bibliometric data and other publicly available existing data? What are ways social network tools characterize the interdisciplinarity or cross-disciplinarity of co-author teams? The names of 411 grantees were searched in the Web of Science indexing database; author information from the WoS search results resulted in a 191-member co-author network. Research domains were included as attribute data for the co-author network. UCINet social network analysis software calculated a large 60 node component and two larger components with 12 and 8 nodes respectively, the remainder of the network consisted of smaller 2-5 node components. Within the 191-node co-author network the following analyses were performed to learn more about the structural social capital of this group: Degree and Eigenvector centrality measures, brokerage measures, and constraint measures. Additionally, ten randomly selected dyads and the five 4-node cliques within the 191-node network were examined to find patterns of cross-disciplinary collaboration among researcher and within award teams. Award numbers were added as attribute data to five 4-node cliques and 10 random dyads; these showed instances of collaboration among interdisciplinary award teams. Collaboration patterns across disciplines are discussed. Data from this research could serve as a baseline measure for growth in future analyses of the case studied. This method is recommended as a tool to gain insights to a research community and to track publication collaboration growth over time. This research method shows potential as a way to identify aspects of a research community’s social structural capital, particularly within an interdisciplinary network to highlight where researchers are working well together or to learn where there is little collaboration.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Learning technologies; Social capital (Sociology); Bibliometrics -- Case studies; Authorship -- Collaboration -- Case studies

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Fusco Kledzik, Judith;