Master's Thesis

Analysis of the Evolution of Collaboration and Publication Activities in a Group of Young Researchers



Scientific production is a dynamic process in the structural and topic dimension.  The structural dimension comprises relationships between researchers (e.g. co-authorships) or citations between publications. These relations evolve over time and can be represented as dynamic networks and analysed using social network analysis techniques. In addition, the topic dimension reflects the thematic orientation of researchers. Both dimensions co-evolve, i.e. collaborations and research topics influence each other.  Especially young researchers can benefit from analysis tools and visualisations making this evolution more explicit in terms of self-reflection and strategic planning. PALM is a platform that provides a range of user-centric and group-centric measures as well as topic visualisations that reflect scientific production and collaboration.

The goal of this thesis project is to extend the PALM platform by integrating new functionalities for the systematic analysis and visual exploration of evolving research communities. The new module should support a user-centric and group-centric view on the evolution of publication networks. In particular, a researcher can use the platform to reflect on the changes of their own personal influences and collaborations over time.



  1. Investigate measures for the influence of internal and external researchers on particular researchers and the community as a whole. This includes the conceptualisation of appropriate data models and the mechanisms to expand the inner-community collaboration network by integrating external researchers
  2. Visualise evolving co-authorship networks over time including the change in the measures developed in (1)



  • Literature review of Social Network Analysis for community support
  • Conceptualisation of impact measures for scientific communities and first case study with given dataset
  • Integration of the approach into PALM using appropriate visualisation techniques
  • Evaluation of the outcome by conducting an in-depth analysis of the RTG “User-centred social media”



  • Good programming skills in Java, JavaScript, and Web Technologies
  • Prior knowledge in SNA and d3.js is helpful



Arham Muslim, M.Sc.

Dr. Tobias Hecking