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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Increasing Education Research Productivity: A Network Analysis

  • Author(s): Peterson, William J.
  • Santen, Sally A.
  • House, Joseph B.
  • Hopson, Laura R.
  • Wolff, Meg
  • Carney, Michele
  • Cyrus, John W.
  • et al.

Introduction: Forming effective networks is important for personal productivity and career development. Although critical for success, these networks are not well understood. The objective of this study was to usze a social network analysis tool to demonstrate the growth of institutional publication networks for education researchers and show how a single institution has expanded its publication network over time.

Methods: Publications from a single institution’s medical education research group (MERG) were pulled since its inception in 2010 to 2019 using Web of Science to collect publication information. Using VOSViewer software, we formed and plotted a network sociogram comparing the first five years to the most recent 4.25 years to compare the institutions of authors from peer reviewed manuscripts published by this group.

Results: We found 104 peer-reviewed research articles, editorials, abstracts, and reviews for the MERG authors between 2010 and 2019 involving 134 unique institutions. During 2010-2014, there were 26 publications involving 56 institutions. From 2015- 2019, there were 78 publications involving 116 unique institutions.

Conclusion: This brief report correlates successful research productivity in medical education with the presence of increased inter-institutional collaborations as demonstrated by network sociograms.  Programs to intentionally expand collaborative networks may prove to be an important element of facilitating successful careers in medical education scholarship.

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