Bridging ties in scientific research: the relationship between gender and heterogeneous networks in biomedicine

De 26/09/2018 hasta 28/11/2018
EU-SPRI Early Career Researcher Conference (ECC) - Public R&D funding and evaluation: Methods, Trends and Changes
Drawing on gender biases and differences observed in academic paths, this paper aims to disentangle the gender dimension in biomedical research collaboration networks. We adopt a network approach based on the institutional diversity of actors and the configuration of triads (coordinator, gatekeeper, consultant and liaison) as a source of diverse and non-redundant knowledge. Using data from 1,110 usable responses from a questionnaire administered in 2013 to biomedical scientists and technicians belonging to the Spanish Biomedical Research Networking Centres (CIBERs). We control for a number of variables including research group characteristics, individual and organisational factors such as personality traits, motivations and scientific performance. Our early findings show that women form more diverse network triads than men. This result is reinforced when considering the most heterogeneous brokerage open triads (e.g. consultant and liaison). Holding a variety of brokerage roles enhances the intermediation capacity of controlling information flows within research networks and allows women to access non-redundant information resources which can be crucial for knowledge recombination and innovation processes. Gender studies literature on innovation is discussed to conclude with possible policy implications and new research questions.
Roma, Italia
Adrian A. Díaz-Faes, Paula Otero-Hermida, Pablo D'Este