Assessing the work of scholars is of great importance in the life of academic institutions, disciplines and scholars. Research suggests that that the notion of ‘scholarly influence’ should be substituted for current approaches towards judging scholarship (Truex et al. 2009). This paper seeks to examine the nature of the construct ‘scholarly influence’ by reconceptualising the activity of academic research as a social process of peer production enacted through networks of innovation. It combines techniques used to assess ‘ideational influence’– a measure of the productivity and the uptake of an author’s ideas – and techniques used in social network analysis to assess ‘social influence’ – patterns of social interaction measured as co-authored publications in journals and conferences. The analysis suggests that social and ideational influence appear to be inter-related; those with high citation indices are also well connected. Rather than argue causality we have proposed that the two are mutually reinforcing and that an assessment of researcher impact should take account of both when looking for indicators that might have predictive power. Given that citations are backward looking it is possible that measures of social influence, such as closeness to highly ranked scholars as evidenced by co-authorship networks, will provide a useful forward looking indicator. Promotion boards might consider social network and citations when considering a researcher in the round.
Takeda, Hirotoshi; Cuellar, Michael; Truex, Duane; and Vidgen, Richard, "NETWORKS OF INNOVATION IN IS RESEARCH: AN EXPLORATION OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CO-AUTHORSHIP NETWORKS AND H-FAMILY INDICES" (2011). ECIS 2011 Proceedings. 146.