Growth of collaboration in science. Are social sciences catching up with natural science?
There are several studies showing that the article co-authorship (which is one of the indicators of collaboration) is much more popular in natural sciences than in humanities. Nevertheless, social science sees the growth of the co-authorship but mainly in quantitative studies (Moody, 2004).
Work of Larivière et al. (2006), which comes from an analysis of Canadian scientific articles from 1980 to 2002 period, shows that almost all articles in the NSE are jointly published, compared with two thirds in the social sciences and about 10% in the humanities.
Finally, the study of Franceschet and Costantini (2010) on an Italian sample of articles suggests that collaboration is correlated positively with number of citations. However, hyper-authored articles (e.g. in physics) receive significantly less citation which may be due – according to the authors – to the fact that they are much faster becoming obsolete when compared with theoretical articles.
Why is the collaboration in humanities so uncommon? Can we explain it by the significance of the article which is much higher in NSE than in the humanities where single-authored books prevail?
Does it have an impact on transfer of ideas, theoretical consolidation?
And finally, should we induce collaboration in science?