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Home arrow Education arrow Evaluating Collaboration Networks in Higher Education Research: Drivers of Excellence


In the speeches of Education researchers interviewed (SSHEd-BR), research groups appear after the return of the main researcher from the doctorate having as members of the new research group their advisees and students. On the subject of networks, for some, among the respondents, Education presents a difference from other areas of knowledge. They say education researchers lead groups and they do not create connections in networks. Network, in this understanding, would be like a citation network, a product of easy praise. The network would then be created as a product of personal favoritism and would be more political than epistemological (you cite me and I cite you!). They think a network would be characterized by the citation of the leaders’ works or the citations of any member of the group. But, they observe, the network quotes may be higher (bigger) than the network formed by coauthorships in publications by the leader in collaboration with members of his/her research group, referring to the graphs of their coauthorships we showed them. Being distrustful, they said that the network is a kind of alliance between the members of a group, among friends of the researcher, to increase citations and to account for their production. In this case, they understand that this forms a citation network (for favors) and certainly would influence the movement of scientific papers (Leite and Lima, 2012; Leite, 2014).

Other researchers from Education indicate the existence of large networks, extended, and basic networks, more restricted, just inside the research group. The basic network would arise within the research group derived from the relationship between researchers, advisers, and students. It would be unipolar, a hierarchical network of educational training between mentor and students. The extended network would be one of the social and educational researcher practices. The extended network would be the one formed by the researcher and his or her readers, for example, teachers of primary or secondary education systems. In this case, the scientific production of the researcher group leader showed the existence of a partnership between university researchers and teachers of schools, plus members of the research group, other researchers, and advisers. The network would not be viewed only by the research products, measurable results in publications; the network would be a sum of intangible works as well. The network would be formed by the sum ofjoint work between various subjects that are in the research group and other individuals who are in professional teaching practice in schools, other educational levels. As a criticism of the net presented in the graphs, they have warned that an Education network would not be restricted to scientific production in Lattes curricula system, which focused on papers published in journals by which the points for an individual score of the teacher-researcher productivity are made (Leite, 2014).

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