UCSF is spread all across San Francisco, with faculty members’ primary addresses spanning over a dozen zip codes. We know that geographical proximity helps collaboration, but some UCSF researchers are comfortably working with collaborators all across the university, regardless of campus.
I used UCSF Profiles data to look at researchers who have co-authored publications since 2017 with other people currently at UCSF who have primary addresses in a different zip code. I skipped publications with more than 6 total co-authors, since it’s less likely that any two co-authors collaborated directly. (See the example at the end of this post.)
Some UCSF departments do a better job of fostering collaboration between junior and senior faculty members. Using UCSF Profiles data, I looked at co-authorship patterns among current faculty at departments across UCSF, to see which departments have the highest rate of junior-senior collaborations. (Caveat: Departments can have different sizes, faculty experience mixes, and field-specific publishing patterns, so comparisons are always imperfect.)
I used UCSF Profiles to identity current UCSF faculty (title includes the words “Professor,” “Dean,” or “Chancellor”) with at least 5 publications, and at least 3 years of publishing experience (i.e. time between the earliest and latest publications). I assigned faculty to departments using their current primary departmental affiliation, and considered only those departments with 20 such faculty members.
In each department, I sorted the faculty by seniority using, in order, title (e.g. “Professor” outranks “Assistant Professor”), number of publications, and length of publishing experience. I then selected the 25% most junior and 25% most senior faculty from each department, and considered every possible junior-senior pair. (So for a department of 40 people, I’d pick out 10 junior, and 10 senior faculty, for a total of 100 junior-senior combinations).
For each of these combinations, I checked if there exists at least one publication where both the junior and senior faculty members are listed as co-authors. For example, if there was a department of 12 faculty members, I’d pick the 3 most junior (A, B, C) and 3 most senior (X, Y, Z); if A and X have been co-authors on 1 publication, and B and Y on 3 publications, then there have been 2 unique junior/senior co-authorship pairs, of 9 possible.
The top 20 departments
Urology • 43% the 10 most junior and 10 most senior faculty have 43 unique junior/senior co-authorship pairs, of 100 possible
Physiological Nursing • 35% the 7 most junior and 7 most senior faculty have 17 unique junior/senior co-authorship pairs, of 49 possible
Radiation Oncology • 34% the 8 most junior and 8 most senior faculty have 22 unique junior/senior co-authorship pairs, of 64 possible
Neurological Surgery • 30% the 15 most junior and 15 most senior faculty have 67 unique junior/senior co-authorship pairs, of 225 possible
Orofacial Sciences • 22% the 8 most junior and 8 most senior faculty have 14 unique junior/senior co-authorship pairs, of 64 possible
Preventive & Restorative Dental Sciences • 20% the 12 most junior and 12 most senior faculty have 29 unique junior/senior co-authorship pairs, of 144 possible
Cellular Molecular Pharmacology • 19% the 6 most junior and 6 most senior faculty have 7 unique junior/senior co-authorship pairs, of 36 possible
Orthopaedic Surgery • 18% the 16 most junior and 16 most senior faculty have 46 unique junior/senior co-authorship pairs, of 256 possible
Family Community Medicine • 16% the 10 most junior and 10 most senior faculty have 16 unique junior/senior co-authorship pairs, of 100 possible
Pathology • 15% the 16 most junior and 16 most senior faculty have 39 unique junior/senior co-authorship pairs, of 256 possible
Family Health Care Nursing • 14% the 7 most junior and 7 most senior faculty have 7 unique junior/senior co-authorship pairs, of 49 possible
Laboratory Medicine • 14% the 13 most junior and 13 most senior faculty have 24 unique junior/senior co-authorship pairs, of 169 possible
Cardiovascular Research Institute • 14% the 6 most junior and 6 most senior faculty have 5 unique junior/senior co-authorship pairs, of 36 possible
Radiology • 13% the 35 most junior and 35 most senior faculty have 157 unique junior/senior co-authorship pairs, of 1225 possible
Bioengineering • 12% the 8 most junior and 8 most senior faculty have 8 unique junior/senior co-authorship pairs, of 64 possible
Institute for Health Aging • 12% the 8 most junior and 8 most senior faculty have 8 unique junior/senior co-authorship pairs, of 64 possible
Otolaryngology • 12% the 11 most junior and 11 most senior faculty have 15 unique junior/senior co-authorship pairs, of 121 possible
Pharmaceutical Chemistry • 11% the 8 most junior and 8 most senior faculty have 7 unique junior/senior co-authorship pairs, of 64 possible
Neurology • 10% the 42 most junior and 42 most senior faculty have 173 unique junior/senior co-authorship pairs, of 1764 possible
Dermatology • 10% the 12 most junior and 12 most senior faculty have 14 unique junior/senior co-authorship pairs, of 144 possible
The UCSF Profiles Team got more international attention for its enhancements to the Profiles product and the level of engaged users last year. Over the past several months, the Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) has been in talks with UCSF Profiles to gain insight and plan an approach to create a system that will show and track their researchers’ work around the globe. TDR is a global collaborative program sponsored by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the World Bank and World Health Organization (WHO). Continue reading →
UCSF Profiles is an example of a Research networking system (RNS). These systems provide automated aggregation and mining of information to create profiles and networks of the people that make up an academic institution. RNS’s have in effect, become a new kind of ‘front door’ for the university, providing access to the university’s intellectual capital in a manner previously unattainable — i.e. one focused on expertise rather than schools or departments, thus intermingling experts regardless of where they’re officially housed. Against this backdrop, we wanted to understand how such a tool might enhance access to academic expertise by external partners, specifically industry, and improve UCSF’s response to industry interest. Continue reading →
The UCSF Profiles team has increased site usage by over an order of magnitude since the site’s big campus-wide launch in 2010. This “growth hacking” cheat sheet distills the key lessons learned during that period, and can be applied to almost any research networking platform, including VIVO, Profiles, and home-grown solutions. Continue reading →
We’re using UCSF Profiles data to explore whether co-authorship networks are a good way to show the connections between researchers at UCSF.
We can start off by looking at immediate co-authorship connections. I was surprised at how few current UCSF co-authors most users have. The flip side of co-authoring widely outside of one’s institution is that there are fewer internal co-authors:
What does a typical UCSF publication look like, in terms of the number of internal co-authors vs. the number of external co-authoring institutions? Here’s a breakdown among dentistry-related publications by UCSF researchers published in 2013. (This is the same analysis as yesterday, but looking at the number of external institutions, vs. the number of external people.)
Again, I was surprised to see so many co-authorships between a single UCSF researcher and one or researchers from one or more external institutions (the very top row of results), which accounts for 52% of the papers we looked at.