The Effect of Cumulative Advantages on the Stability and Dynamics of Collaborations in US Physics, Chemistry and Sociology from 1980 to 2015

Monday, January 30, 2017
12:00pm- 1:00pm (bring your own lunch)
355 GSPP, 3rd floor,1893 LeRoy Ave 
Oliver Wieczorek
Visiting Scholar, Sociology, Bamberg, Germany
Heiko Heiberger
Postdoctoral Researcher,Department for Micro-Sociology at University of Bremen, Germany

Visiting Scholar Seminar

In academia, effects of “cumulative advantage” are well studied in regards to different types of resources. Those resources are money, influence, number of collaborations, number of publications and the impact of the findings. In other words: the rich and famous departments and researchers get richer and more famous over time while the poor get (relatively) poorer. This effect is visible on both individual and departmental level. Using a combination of Habitus-Field Theory and Academic Capitalism approach, we investigate the effects of cumulative advantages on departmental level and take a closer look on how elevating inequalities affect strength and durability of collaborations between institutions over time. We address those issues using collaboration data from chemistry, physics and sociology from the United States from 1980 to 2015.

Beyond the descriptive dynamic development and in order to test the complex relationships between endogenous network parameters (e.g. reciprocity, transitivity) and external covariates (e.g. funding, prestige) we use Exponential Random Graph Modeling (ERGM). ERGM is a statistical approach that allows us to handle the non-independence of network data, yet the results can be interpreted in similar ways to logistic regression. This gives us a elaborated procedure to investigate the net effects of how resources and prestige as well as network intrinsic processes frame chances to form, maintain and strengthen collaborations between academic departments in three disciplines. 

Biographies :

Oliver Wieczorek

2011 to 2014 – Student Researcher on the project “The influence of educational experts on the Transnationalization of Education. Evidence from Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States”, sponsored by the German Research Foundation

2013 – Organizer of the 4th German Student’s Congress for Sociology

2014 – Graduation from University of Bamberg (M.A.)

2014 onwards – Researcher at the Department of Sociology, Especially Sociological Theory at University of Bamberg


Heiberger, Heiko and Oliver Wieczorek (2017): Choosing Collaboration Partners. How Scientific Success Depends on Network Positions. Paper submitted to Social Forces.

Heimann, Christiane and Oliver Wieczorek (2017): The Role of Arguments and Institutions in Creating a Common European Labour Market – Exemplified by Spanish labour migration to Germany. In Publication at International Migration.

Wieczorek Oliver, Stephanie Beyer and Richard Münch (2017): Fief and Benefice Feudalism. Two Types of Academic Autonomy in US Chemistry. In Publication at Higher Education.

Wieczorek, Oliver and Len Ole Schäfer (2016): Verwaltungspraktiken – Konstruktion von Leistungsindikatoren am Beispiel des britischen Research Assessment Exercise. [The Effect of Management Practices on Performance Indicators: The Example of the British Research Assessment Exercise]. In: Bauer, Nina, Christina Besio, Maria Norkus and Grit Petschick (Hg.): Wissen – Organisation – Forschungspraxis. Der Makro – Meso – Mikro – Link in der Wissenschaft [Knowledge – Organization – Research Practice. The Macro – Meso – Micro – Link in academia]. VS-Verlag: Wiesbaden. In print.

Heiko Heiberger

2010 – Graduated from University of Bamberg 

2010 – 2014 Researcher at the Department of Sociology, Especially Sociological Theory at University of Bamberg

2012 – Visiting Scholar at UCLA

2014 – Ph. D. in sociology at University of Bamberg (Supervisor: Prof. Richard Münch, Prof. Gerhard Schulze) with focus on economic sociology, network analysis and stock markets (“The Social construction of prices on stock markets. The influence of culture, networks and institutional regulations affect stock prices”)

2014 onwards – Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department for Micro-Sociology at University of Bremen 

Selected Publications:

2016 (with Jan Riebling): Installing computational social science: Facing the challenges of new information and communication technologies in social science. Methodological Innovations, Vol. 9, 1-11.

2015 (with Jan Riebling): U.S. and Whom? Structures and Communities of International Economic Research. Journal of Social Structure. Vol. 16

2015: Shifts in Collective Attention and Stock Networks. Evidence from Standard & Poor´s 100 corporations and firm-level Google Trends data. Lecture Notes in Computer Science: Computational Social Networks, Vol. 9197, 296–306.

2014: Stock network stability in times of crisis. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Vol. 393, 376-381.

2013 (with Thomas Heinze, Richard Heidler und Jan Riebling): New patterns of scientific growth. How research expanded after the invention of Scanning Tunneling Microscopy and the discovery of Buckminsterfullerenes. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Vol. 64, 829-843 .