• Alejandro Espinosa

Student thesis: Phd


The thesis investigates the usage of multigraphs to understand citation patterns among researchers in the Chilean astronomical and astrophysics community. The usage of multigraphs to study scientific networks in local contexts has been acknowledged in early developments from the sociological study of science and knowledge but has been scarcely addressed in current empirical research. This research will show that multiple networks can contribute to investigating why scientific networks evolve, considering stable processes that mix social, cognitive, and situational dimensions. In this research, processes of group formation using multigraphs are considered to enlighten the patterns of citations among researchers. The co-evolution of different networks is analysed, incorporating different levels (three-modes) and types of relationships that are jointly investigated. First, to understand how a group of academics generate interpersonal intercitations after the arrival of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array. And, secondly, to inquire how the local scientific community prepares for the arrival of the Vera C. Rubin Observatory. For the analysis, it is used quadratic assignment procedures and stochastic actor-oriented models. This research offered methodological advances to understand multilevel networks exploring new goodness of fit, often used in statistical network models, for multiplex and three-mode multilevel networks. And suggest as an analytical strategy the analysis of samples of multilevel networks to investigate broader communities. The research shows that the usage of citation-based measures is difficult to understand and that the consideration of different interpersonal relationships and the context allowed recovering the social dimension of the intercitation. The social relationships grounded on scientific collaboration and space proximity based on institutional affiliation are more accurately suited to understand the co-evolution of the networks and the intercitation among astronomers than cognitive-based networks when measured as the tendency to publish in similar journals. And, in the broader community, there is a tendency upon intercitation among researchers affiliated in the same external research centres creating closure in scientific niches (i.e., research centres) as a community's tendency towards diversity and multi-connectivity.
Date of Award31 Dec 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorTermeh Shafie (Supervisor), Elisa Bellotti (Supervisor) & Martin Everett (Supervisor)


  • Social Network Analysis
  • Sociology of Science and Knowledge
  • Scientific Networks
  • Multilevel Networks
  • Longitudinal Networks

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