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Intellectual structure of Antarctic science: A 25-years analysis

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Abstract

To delineate the intellectual structure of Antarctic science, the research outputs on Antarctic science have been analyzed for a period of 25 years (1980–2004) through a set of scientometrics and network analysis techniques. The study is based on 10,942 records (research articles, letters, reviews, etc.), published in 961 journals/documents, and retrieved from the Science Citation Index (SCI) database. Over the years interest in Antarctic science has increased, as is evident from the growing number of ratified countries and research stations. During the period under study, the productivity has increased 3-times and there is a 13-fold increase in collaborative articles. Attempt has been made to identify important players like scientists, organizations and countries working in the field and to identify frontier areas of research that is being conducted in this continent. The highest 41% scientific output is contributed by the USA and the UK, followed by Australia and Germany. British Antarctic Survey (BAS), UK and Alfred Wegener Institute of Polar & Marine Research, Germany are the most productive institutes in Antarctic science. Maximum number of research articles on Antarctic science, have been published in the journal Polar Biology, indicating substantial work being done on the biology of this continent. The journals — Nature and Science — are the highly-cited journals in Antarctic science. The paper written by J. C. Farman et al., published in Nature in 1985, reporting depletion of ozone layer, is the most-cited article. Semantic relationships between cited documents were measured through co-citation analysis. J. C. Farman and S. Solomon are co-cited most frequently.

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... Bibliometric studies carried out by Dastidar and Ramachandran (2008) and Ji, Pang and Zhao (2014) verified an increase of international co-authorship inpublished papers covering Antarctic science, which indicate the advance of international cooperation in this field. However, international co-authorship is a rising phenomenon in science and these authors did not compare their data with some other international benchmark that would allow them to evaluate if there was really a breakthrough. ...
... Since it was impossible to make projections about a phenomenon that was poorly documented before 1989, the alternative was to assume that IScA, without the regime, would have evolved at the same rate of international cooperation in global science and technology. One of the indicators used to evaluate International Scientific Cooperation (Icc) is the international co-authorship index, a resource widely used by specialized literature (Dastidar and Ramachandran, 2008;Ji, Pang and Zhao, 2014;Katz, 1994;Vanz and Stumpf, 2010). ...
... For this reason, the present research aims at examining IScA not only through quantitative observations, but also with a qualitative bias, in order to fill some of the existing gaps in the mentioned researches (Ollaik and Ziller, 2012). Using the data provided by Dastidar and Ramachandran (2008) and Ji, Pang and Zhao (2014) gives more sustainability to the investigation and corrects eventual distortions of the case study through triangulation of data. Balancieri et al. (2005) report that the use of co-authored papers as an indicator to measure collaboration between scientists first appeared in 1958. ...
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El Sistema del Tratado Antártico (STA) entró en vigor para encerrar litigios y promover la cooperación científica. Criticado originalmente, el régimen ganó reconocimiento internacional pero siguen habiendo dudas sobre su capacidad de avanzar en la cooperación internacional. Este artículo evalúa, mediante análisis bibliométrico y técnica contrafática, si el STA ha logrado promover la cooperación científica internacional. Utilizando como indicador las tasas internacionales de coautoría de artículos científicos, se realizó un estudio de caso. Los resultados muestran que la coautoría internacional en la revista estudiada fue superior a la encontrada en ciencia y tecnología. A pesar de las limitaciones inherentes a un estudio de caso, llegamos a la conclusión de que el STA fue eficaz en promover la cooperación científica internacional.
... It is, therefore, surprising that few studies of the collaboration dynamics among scientific disciplines working in the southern continent have been done. Rather, bibliometric studies of Antarctic science have primarily focused on international collaboration at the continental scale (Dastidar 2007;Dastidar & Ramachandran 2008;Aksnes & Hessen 2009;Ji et al. 2014;Kim & Jung 2016;Jang et al. 2020). Each of these studies covers a recent 20-30-year period, usually back to the 1990s, with the earliest date being 1980. ...
... Each of these studies covers a recent 20-30-year period, usually back to the 1990s, with the earliest date being 1980. However, Antarctic science extends back to the early 20th century, and in some cases even earlier (see Fogg 1992), and much was previously classified or published in out-of-print journals and grey literature not indexed in online databases like the Web of Science (Dastidar & Ramachandran 2008). Thus, while useful, broad-scale bibliometric analyses relying solely on digital databases may miss important dynamics in the development of Antarctic collaboration networks. ...
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Co-authorship networks can provide key insights into the production of scientific knowledge. This is particularly interesting in Antarctica, where most human activity relates to scientific research. Bibliometric studies of Antarctic science have provided a useful understanding of international and interdisciplinary collaboration, yet most research has focused on broad-scale analyses over recent time periods. Here, we take advantage of a ‘Goldilocks’ opportunity in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, an internationally important region of Antarctica and the largest ice-free region on the continent. The McMurdo Dry Valleys have attracted continuous and diverse scientific activity since 1958. It is a geographically confined region with limited access, making it possible to evaluate the influence of specific events and individuals. We trace the history of environmental science in this region using bibliometrics and social network analysis. Our results show a marked shift in focus from the geosciences to the biosciences, which mirrors wider trends in the history of science. Collaboration among individuals and academic disciplines increased through time, and the most productive scientists in the network are also the most interdisciplinary. Patterns of collaboration among disciplines resemble the biogeochemical relationships among respective landscape features, raising interesting questions about the role of the material environment in the development of scientific networks in the region, and the dynamic interaction with socio-cultural and political factors. Our focused, historical approach adds nuance to broad-scale bibliometric studies and could be applied to understanding the dynamics of scientific research in other regions of Antarctica and elsewhere.
... The work of Paul J. Crutzen, Mario J. Molina and F. Sherwood Rowland to delineate the role of chlorine in stratospheric chemistry and identification of the industrial chemical CFC used as solvent, refrigerant, etc. resulted in the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1995. Solomon is also one of the most-cited authors in Antarctic science as a whole 23 . The significant discovery played an important role in drafting a multilateral treaty -Montreal Protocol 17 , a force behind adopting long-term measures in combating this environmental disaster. ...
... USA is also the leading player in Antarctic science research as a whole, followed by UK, Germany and Japan (Table 3). USA was also the lead collaborator in Antarctic ozone hole research, followed by UK and Switzerland 23,24 . Molina and Rowland from USA along with Crutzen from Germany bagged the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1995 for their work on the formation and decomposition of ozone. ...
... Scientific research activities in Antarctica show how international collaboration works in a shared region where the ownership does not belong to a country. Researchers began to study the structure of Antarctic science by using bibliometric methods (Dastidar and Persson, 2005;Dastidar, 2007;Dastidar and Ramachandran, 2008). In those studies, Antarctic science collaboration networks were constructed based on the Web of Science database for the period of 1980-2004. ...
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Due to the large scale of Antarctic science, scientific collaboration is required for conducting scientific research. In this study, we attempted to investigate collaboration network and the role of research station in Antarctic science based on bibliometric data from 1995 to 2014. We confirmed that geographical proximity tends to be important for scientific collaboration by employing community detection in the network. This result raises the question about what the role of research station in Antarctica is. We tried to reveal its role by focusing on five countries, Belgium, China, Czech Republic, India, and Korea that constructed new research stations during the last decade. Relative growth rate, a value to measure the growth of publications, didn't differ much around the construction period compared to those in other periods for these countries except Belgium. However, we found geographical keywords emerged around the construction for all five countries. These keywords were utilized to observe national research activities in Antarctica. They show where countries started to be concerned about after the construction.
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... Bibliometrics offers an effective tool to quantitatively reveal scientific progress through publications (e.g., from annual outputs, main journals, and leading countries and institutions) and qualitatively reveal the progress (e.g., hotspots and future research method directions) in different fields Fu et al. 2013). With bibliometrics, previous studies have summarized the development of Antarctic research regarding spatiotemporal, national and categorical outputs; international collaborations; and the temporal evolution of keywords (Dastidar & Ramachandran 2008;Ji et al. 2014). More recently, based on highly cited articles from Antarctic field research from 1900 to 2012, Fu & Ho identified the research emphases by keywords, and characterized the citation patterns and citation lifespan (Fu & Ho 2016). ...
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Part I. Introduction: Networks, Relations, and Structure: 1. Relations and networks in the social and behavioral sciences 2. Social network data: collection and application Part II. Mathematical Representations of Social Networks: 3. Notation 4. Graphs and matrixes Part III. Structural and Locational Properties: 5. Centrality, prestige, and related actor and group measures 6. Structural balance, clusterability, and transitivity 7. Cohesive subgroups 8. Affiliations, co-memberships, and overlapping subgroups Part IV. Roles and Positions: 9. Structural equivalence 10. Blockmodels 11. Relational algebras 12. Network positions and roles Part V. Dyadic and Triadic Methods: 13. Dyads 14. Triads Part VI. Statistical Dyadic Interaction Models: 15. Statistical analysis of single relational networks 16. Stochastic blockmodels and goodness-of-fit indices Part VII. Epilogue: 17. Future directions.
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