A longitudinal social network analysis of the editorial boards of medical informatics and bioinformatics journals.

Malin B, Carley K
J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2007 14 (3): 340-8

PMID: 17329730 · PMCID: PMC2244883 · DOI:10.1197/jamia.M2228

OBJECTIVE - The goal of this research is to learn how the editorial staffs of bioinformatics and medical informatics journals provide support for cross-community exposure. Models such as co-citation and co-author analysis measure the relationships between researchers; but they do not capture how environments that support knowledge transfer across communities are organized.

METHODS - In this paper, we propose a social network analysis model to study how editorial boards integrate researchers from disparate communities. We evaluate our model by building relational networks based on the editorial boards of approximately 40 journals that serve as research outlets in medical informatics and bioinformatics. We track the evolution of editorial relationships through a longitudinal investigation over the years 2000 through 2005.

RESULTS - Our findings suggest that there are research journals that support the collocation of editorial board members from the bioinformatics and medical informatics communities. Network centrality metrics indicate that editorial board members are located in the intersection of the communities and that the number of individuals in the intersection is growing with time.

CONCLUSIONS - Social network analysis methods provide insight into the relationships between the medical informatics and bioinformatics communities. The number of editorial board members facilitating the publication intersection of the communities has grown, but the intersection remains dependent on a small group of individuals and fragile.

MeSH Terms (8)

Community Networks Computational Biology Editorial Policies Interdisciplinary Communication Longitudinal Studies Medical Informatics Periodicals as Topic Social Support

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