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Micro-Level Quantitative Indicators for RNPE

We can find in the literature (Borgatti et al., 2002; Carolan, 2014; De Nooy et al., 2005) different networks analysis software. We can manage techniques to employ network analysis in order to connect our intentions and questions to statistical models. From our experience, we suggest indicators for egocentric networks analysis ofmicro-networks in coauthorships of articles, books, book chapters, and others that can be fairly easily accessed from the public curricula of the researchers in the sites of their universities, and in the Lattes Platform for the case ofBrazil and Portugal. The curricula of the researchers register their bibliographic production and, therefore, their coauthorships. The suggested survey can be viewed in the present protocol (Table 6.1).

Table 6.2 Micro-level quantitative indicators for RNPE

Indicator

Description

Categories

Network

actors

Network’s composition according to coauthors’ nationality and affiliation or not to the research group

Intragroup collaborators; extragroup domestic collaborators; overseas collaborators

Actors

groupings

Group leader’s ability to congregate collaborators as evidenced by coauthorships forming subnetworks

Actors linked only to the group leader; actors linked to another coauthor besides the group leader; actors linked to three or more coauthors

Actors’

institutions by site

National or international reach of research collaboration, considering the institutions’ locations

Domestic institutions; overseas institutions

Actors’

institutions by type

Institutional reach of research collaboration considering the linked institutions’ missions and goals

Academic institutions; extraacademic institutions (public sector; private sector; third sector)

Articles by number of authors

Absence of extent of collaboration within the network in coauthored articles

Single-authored articles; articles coauthored by number of authors

Articles by publication site

National and international reach of the network’s outputs

Number of articles published within the group’s country; number of articles published abroad

Journals by location

Geographic reach of the network’s outputs considering the variety of the journals’ locations

Number of domestic journals in which articles were published; number of foreign journals in which articles were published

Leadership

style

Strength of the leader’s brokerage role within the network, considering network connectivity

Hierarchical central to decentralize

As detected by visual inspection of graphs, in a continuum from most hierarchic to most decentralized

Collaboration

intensity

Diversity of relations established within the network

Average degree of the networks’ vertices

aOur research pointed out that articles are the most useful type of publication on which to base the assessment. However, research managers may find it useful to conduct assessments based on other kinds of research outputs, such as books, books chapters, and conference papers.

Source: Leite et al. (2014b)

Excel spreadsheets help to organize the data. With bibliometric techniques and the construction of graphs representing researchers’ networks, we calculate relatively simple markers, as suggested later (see Table 6.2). The set of indicators gives the position of ego networks whose curriculum is analyzed. In our research, the results often surprise the very leader and their research groups, and this facilitates RNPE. They are a visible face of what is done in research and in collaborative networks, information to be presented and discussed with all network members, within research groups. They are positions for analysis with a focus on research excellence and on the scope of the network and the role of each member or actor in the research process.

Apart from our basic suggestion of indicators, people can decide to have an efficiency view of their networking based on inputs and outputs measures. The most common research network inputs categories are human resources, financial resources, infrastructures, and existing knowledge. Research network outputs categories are new knowledge, articles and books publication, patents, and researchers training program (Bolli and Somogyi, 2011; Garcia-Valderrama and Mulero-Mendigorri, 2005; Godin, 2007; Teixeira and Koryakina, 2011).

In our experience, researchers have their own understandings about evaluation procedures that must be taken into account. Whatever the perception of the evaluation, we suggest that each leadership (leaderships of networks and leadership of research groups) find the right time to evaluate the actions to develop and, in the case of networks, review how communication and interplay are processed. There is always a margin, and there is plenty of room to be better at what we do and to choose indicators of RNPE. This will contribute to the excellence of the activities of each network.

At the stage 3 qualitative indicators, facing quantitative results may be obtained. For this purpose, we suggest the following next micro-level qualitative indicators for RNPE.

 
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