Digital preservation of scientific papers enables their wider accessibility, but also provides a valuable source of information that can be used in a longitudinal scientometric study. The Electronic Library of the Mathematical Institute of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (eLib) digitizes the most prominent mathematical journals printed in Serbia. In this paper, we study a co-authorship network which represents collaborations among authors who published their papers in the eLib journals in an 80 year period (from 1932 to 2011). Such study enables us to identify patterns and long-term trends in scientific collaborations that are characteristic for a community which mainly consists of Serbian (Yugoslav) mathematicians. Analysis of connected components of the network reveals a topological diversity in the network structure: the network contains a large number of components whose sizes obey a power-law, the majority of components are isolated authors or small trivial components, but there is also a small number of relatively large, non-trivial components of connected authors. Our evolutionary analysis shows that the evolution of the network can be divided into six periods that are characterized by different intensity and type of collaborative behavior among eLib authors. Analysis of author metrics shows that betweenness centrality is a better indicator of author productivity and long-term presence in the eLib journals than degree centrality. Moreover, the strength of correlation between productivity metrics and betweenness centrality increases as the network evolves suggesting that even more stronger correlation can be expected in the future.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.