Uncited publications, Co-authorship, Honorary authorship, Social network analysis, Collaborative pattern, and Research community
Abstract Patterns of co-authorship provide an effective means of probing the structures of research communities. In this paper, we use the CiteSpace social network tool and co-authorship data from the Web of Science to analyse two such types of community. The first type is based on the cited publications of a group of highly productive authors in a particular discipline, and the second on the uncited publications of those highly productive authors. These pairs of communities were generated for three different countries—the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (USA)—and for four different disciplines (as denoted by Web of Science subject categories)—Chemistry Organic, Engineering Environmental, Economics, and Management. In the case of the UK and USA, the structures of the cited and uncited communities in each of the four disciplines were markedly different from each other; in the case of the PRC, conversely, the cited and uncited PRC communities had broadly similar structures that were characterised by large groups of connected authors. We suggest that this may arise from a greater degree of guest or honorary authorship in the PRC than in the UK or the USA.