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Social networks formed by follower–followee relationships on academic social networking sites: an examination of corporation users

Weiwei Yan (), Qian Liu (), Ruoyu Chen () and Shengwei Yi ()
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Weiwei Yan: Wuhan University
Qian Liu: Wuhan University
Ruoyu Chen: Wuhan University
Shengwei Yi: Wuhan University

Scientometrics, 2020, vol. 124, issue 3, No 16, 2083-2101

Abstract: Abstract As academic social networking sites become important platforms for researchers to carry out research activities, more and more corporation researchers begin to use them. This paper explores the academic interactive behaviors of corporation users on academic social networking sites based on their social networks formed by follower–followee relationships. We take ResearchGate (RG), one of the largest popular academic social networking sites, as the research object, and obtain users’ follower–followee data from top 100 research corporations to reveal their interactive characteristics from perspectives of regional distribution, institutional type and research area using social network analysis. Results demonstrate that corporation users tend to connect with institutional users in regions with high research impact, and that they interact most significantly with universities among types of institutions. Very few interdisciplinary interactions are observed in academic social networks of corporation users, with technology being the only field where such interactions are likely to happen. We discuss users’ social networks on academic social networking sites from the perspective of corporations. Our findings target top research corporations for setting standards for others to utilize academic social networking sites, guide corporation users to conduct scientific communication across regions and research areas, and encourage corporations to carry out industry–university–research cooperations on academic social networking sites.

Keywords: Academic social networking site; Corporations; Social networks; Follower–followee relationship; ResearchGate (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s11192-020-03553-y

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