Journal of Data and Information Science ›› 2021, Vol. 6 ›› Issue (1): 1-12.doi: 10.2478/jdis-2021-0005

• Research Papers •     Next Articles

Bilateral Co-authorship Indicators Based on Fractional Counting

Ronald Rousseau1,2, Lin Zhang2,3,()   

  1. 1University of Antwerp, Faculty of Social Sciences, 2020 Antwerpen, Belgium
    2Centre for R&D Monitoring (ECOOM) and Dept. MSI, KU Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
    3School of Information Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
  • Received:2020-08-07 Revised:2020-09-29 Accepted:2020-10-10 Online:2021-02-20 Published:2021-01-20
  • Contact: Lin Zhang


Purpose: In this contribution we provide two new co-authorship indicators based on fractional counting.
Design/methodology/approach: Based on the idea of fractional counting we reflect on what should be an acceptable indicator for co-authorship between two entities. From this reflection we propose an indicator, the co-authorship score, denoted as cs, using the harmonic mean. Dividing this new indicator by the classical co-authorship indicator based on full counting, leads to a co-authorship intensity indicator.
Findings: We show that the indicators we propose have many necessary or at least highly desirable properties for a proper cs-score. It is pointed out that the two new indicators can be used for countries, but also for institutions and other pairs of entities. A small example shows the feasibility of the co-authorship score and the co-authorship intensity indicator.
Research limitations: The indicators are not yet tested in real cases.
Practical implications: As the notions of co-authorship and collaboration have many aspects, we think that our contribution may help policy management to take yet another aspect into account as part of a multi-faceted description of research outcomes.
Originality/value: The indicators we propose cover yet another aspect of co-authorship.

Key words: Collaboration, Country studies, Fractional counting, Harmonic mean, Co-authorship intensity