Authors thank (Polish) National Science Centre for support through SONATA grant 2012/07/D/HS6/01971 for the project Dynamics of Competition and Collaboration in Science: Individual Strategies, Collaboration Networks, and Organizational Hierarchies (

Introduction and format

This document lists inventory of academically-relevant resource types with codes, descriptions and sample quotes. In the next section each resource is documented with:

  • Its name in the title of the subsection
  • Its code in parentheses
  • Short textual description
  • Some example quotes identified in the interviews

Codes and quotes

Career development (career_development)

The studies of scientific biographies also raise questions about breakthrough moments in scientific careers. Research on contemporary Polish science indicates that for many scientists it was exposure to international science. It was usually enabled by collaborators who helped them to get international scholarships, give access to some rare data or training or wrote a recommendation letter (Lazarowicz-Kowalik 2015).

I do a lot of things to make her my successor […]. I see her as someone, who can take it further, better. She is the youngest in the team and with no seniority but undoubtedly she has her wits gathered and she is the best based on merits.

We had the discussion in March and I had due date in May. [He said] You know what? I will send you the syllabus. We have a statistical module at out department and I am sending you information how you can start improving your knowledge. You can learn here for free so you will not have to pay there.

Conceptualisation (conceptualization)

Coming up with an idea for a study, providing general theoretical framework; designing a general framework for a study

We write equations together. I give him ideas.

He brings ideas. He has a lot of them and they are fascinating.

Contacts in academia (contacts_in_academia)

The role of social contacts surrounding in the production of knowledge has been underlined in vast literature (e.g. Collins (1974)) According to literature we can group contacts into two categories. Bellotti (2012)

If we want to use some equipment and he knows someone who has it, he recommends us. If he wants something, I recommend him as well so he can use it.

He promised at once to give me some names, emails, and phone numbers […] and I invited these people.

We collaborate internationally very intensively. We do visit to many places. We host people and these are really the top people in our field in the world. I think they would not get it at some other place.

Data analysis (data_analysis)

Data analysis, quantitative as well as qualitative

They provide me with data and I analyse it.

Sometimes I don’t have time to look at charts and so forth. I collect the ‘life’ data and ask my colleague to compute it and to check the results.

Data curation (data_curation)

Managing and archiving data

She wanted me to manage the whole process from building a data set to analysing it.

I was looking for someone to get the files in order to digitalise them. The files have over 3 million records, 3 million card records so obviously she did not do it herself.

Data or other source materials (data_or_other_sources)

A large part of scientific work is organised around tangible resources such as data or documents (Latour and Woolgar 2013). The category consist of different types of data which can be used in scientific work: qualitative, quantitative, literature reviews.

It is appreciated to have an extensive collection of samples that could be used in experiments. I mentioned once during a conversation that I had a lot of samples, which could be utilized.

It was material of great value that I had access to and the aspects I learned about and investigated as well.

Drafting (drafting)

The role of written forms of knowledge was summarized by Bazerman (1983). It is one of the most important activities in science (Popper 1972; Merton 1973).

If he brings something intellectual, I can’t see a reason why I should buy it and assume it is mine. Right? Only because I paid for it. So I added him as a co-author.

The things we prepared, the drafts… We sent them to him.

Equipment (equipment)

Hagstrom (1964) and Knorr-Cetina (2009) indicated the crucial role of technology and scientific equipment in shaping scientific collaborations and scientific practices including centralisation of collaboration in some disciplines.

So I came here, because I was needed. There was a laboratory but there was no one, who could take it over and do this kind of research.

I don’t have access here to the equipment I use. I work in conditions like this, so I very much need it.

Formal administration (formal_administration)

Bureaucratic work is a result of managing complex scientific institutions.

She is our unit leader. She initiates many projects […]. She informs us about conferences and she encourages us to take part. She initiates research […]

Professor is our boss so all financial matters. She is the unite leader.

Funding acquisition (funding_acqusition)

The increasing role of ability to secure funding was underlined in many studies on contemporary science (Resnik 2006; Mirowski 2011).

It was my grant and I invited them. Now it is the other way round. They have a grant and I was invited.

I paid him something. He analysed things for me.

Investigation (investigation)

Conducting research, gathering data

His input is significant. I cannot collect samples without him.

I usually ask for observations, which I handle myself later on.

Knowledge (knowledge_other)

Knowledge oriented help in research process but not falling into any of the above categories.

We talk, you know. Sometimes it is a brain storm. For example, if there is a call for abstract, we consult it. [I think] I don’t fit in here, because I have nothing to say in this area. At least I think so. [She says:] Oh, look! Do this and this. And I will focus on something else. We meet half way. Or when we host a conference […] I give her suggestions to analyse something. Maybe she would have interesting results. These are creative, inspiring meetings.

He is an older gentlemen with very broad knowledge about the field when it comes to methods, ideas […] one could address.

Methodology (methodology)

Designing methodology for a study

I have all the optical measurements from them. […] We complement each other in research methods that are accessible in our institution. My team can do some microscopic measurements.

He gave me some tips when I was taking the measurements like what will match, how I could find something, how it will match. He also taught me one method.

Motivation (motivation)

One of character traits, which does not affect collaboration directly but is of great importance in academic setting (Gatfield 2005).

I met him when I was finishing my master thesis. He encouraged me or motivated me to peruse academic career further.

I had a student from University A. She did her engineering diploma here. She is very gifted. During one conversation she asked what should she have done later on. I said that she could apply for Master’s degree and I would be her supervisor or she could try to go abroad and […] apply for PhDs degree.

Contacts outside academia (non_academic_contacts)

The role of social contacts surrounding in the production of knowledge has been underlined in vast literature (e.g. Collins (1974)) According to literature we can group contacts into two categories. Powell and Owen-Smith (2012)

Thanks to her we have many contacts among practitioners.

She gives us mostly a lot of recognition in this environment and her name opens many doors. Thanks to her we found all those people, we would not have found otherwise. She was our bridge to this group.

Other characteristics (other_charactersitics)


I don’t know a lot about the issue but she said that she needed someone from the other side of the country to conduct the research in companies so the results could be compared.

It was funding for Polish-German partnership. I was looking for a partner from Germany. He is interested in these issues. Since he is one of the most recognised specializts in the field, I wrote to him asking if he would be interested in this funding.

Other input (other_input)

Many scientific collaborations have a unique character. As a result, some resources are very specific to the local background. To avoid excessive fragmentation of the coding scheme, we have decided to introduce a category that will encounter for the resources unique for particular resources across all interviews.

Our supervisor, PhD, deals with substantial things. He doesn’t tackle any technical issues of his students or some other collaborators. He just doesn’t do it. He has more important things to do. We do it instead.

I bring some fresh ideas. When one has a lot of experience, she expects some things not to work out. When you don’t know that it might not work out, you have this innocence, childlikeness.

Prestige (prestige)

Bourdieu (1988) indicated that the symbolic power was the main driver for an accumulation of different goods in academia. Some collaboration might be attractive because they are seen as prestigious.

He is the most recognised scientist in the world. He is well known scientist but older. He has some contacts and it helps in being pulled into the scientific world.

They have a few good papers with names of those people. It just increases your chances.

Formal professional achievements (professional_achievements_formal)

Contemporary science has developed many forms of formal accountability, where achievements are measured according to designed indicators such as a list of publications.

At first I helped him. I gave him some contacts […] but at some point he did it by himself […] without my help, name and so forth.

He was aboard for long time so he also brings academic achievements.

When we apply for funding, he brings himself.

Project administration (project_administration)

Administrative work over a project

He manages a project. I smile because one has to do some paper work.

We finished a project, where she was one of a leaders managing the project.

Proofreading (proofreading)

The role of written forms of knowledge was summarized by Bazerman (1983). It is one of the most important activities in science (Popper 1972; Merton 1973).

So with these books, my input is proofreading.

So he tells me what he can do, what I should do, what I should correct.

Prototype construction (prototype_construction)

Building a prototype that is used in research process;

They are strong in design. […] in this project.

Software creation (software_creation)

Writing software for research process;

He was a specializt in computer stuff. Yes? All things like that, software etc. I manged to do it myself when it was relatively easy. I’m rather a loner - the majority of my work I did alone. I started collaboration before habilitation and I invited him. It was the right choice as I’ve recently learned. We were invited to take part in an international contest.

He did the ‘programming machinery’. Thanks to that our system works.

Supervision (supervision_in)

A master-student relation is the most traditional collaboration in academia. It has a significant impact on a career in academia (Wagner 2011; Zuckerman 1967).

I am a supervisor of Mr. A and Ms. B.

He is my PhD student. I met him when he was a student, and then he came to me.

Traits of character (traits_of_character)

Scientific collaboration like any other teamwork is affected by collaboration skills and traits of character of all parties engaged. The literature on individual traits of character and scientific collaboration is extremely limited except some research on the role of collaborative skills in academia-industry collaboration (Siegel et al. 2003). ‘Character traits’, which include different aspects of collaboration like being agreeable, reliable, or organized might be an important characteristic of a potential collaborator.

She is on the one hand very responsible, she works very well. On the other hand, her work is excellent on the basis of merits.

Professor is very communicative person. He is very friendly and his traits of character encourage collaboration.

Frequency distribution

Frequency distribution of types of resources. Counts correspond to number of times a particular resource appeared in entire corpus of the interviews.

Resource Frequency
Knowledge 209
Funding acquisition 183
Conceptualisation 164
Investigation 155
Other input 117
Contacts in academia 114
Data or other source materials 91
Data analysis 81
Traits of character 73
Proofreading 70
Supervision 69
Project administration 65
Drafting 62
Methodology 50
Equipment 45
Software creation 41
Prestige 35
Formal administration 29
Career development 28
Motivation 28
Contacts outside academia 23
Other characteristics 10
Formal professional achievements 10
Prototype construction 6
Data curation 3


Bazerman, Charles. 1983. “Scientific Writing as a Social Act: A Review of the Literature of the Sociology of Science.” In New Essays in Technical and Scientific Communication: Research, Theory, Practice, edited by Miller Anderson Brockmann, 156–84. Baywood.

Bellotti, Elisa. 2012. “Getting Funded. Multi-Level Network of Physicists in Italy.” Social Networks 34 (2): 215–29.

Bourdieu, Pierre. 1988. Homo Academicus. Stanford University Press.

Collins, Harry M. 1974. “The Tea Set: Tacit Knowledge and Scientific Networks.” Social Studies of Science 4 (2): 165–85.

Gatfield, Terry. 2005. “An Investigation into Phd Supervisory Management Styles: Development of a Dynamic Conceptual Model and Its Managerial Implications.” Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management 27 (3): 311–25.

Hagstrom, Warren O. 1964. “Traditional and Modern Forms of Scientific Teamwork.” Administrative Science Quarterly, 241–63.

Knorr-Cetina, Karin. 2009. Epistemic Cultures: How the Sciences Make Knowledge. Harvard University Press.

Latour, Bruno, and Steve Woolgar. 2013. Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts. Princeton University Press.

Lazarowicz-Kowalik, Marta. 2015. “Anatomia Sukcesu W Nauce. Studium Socjologiczne Laureatów Konkursów Fundacji na rzecz Nauki Polskiej.” PhD thesis, Warsaw: University of Warsaw.

Merton, Robert K. 1973. The Sociology of Science: Theoretical and Empirical Investigations. University of Chicago press.

Mirowski, Philip. 2011. Science-Mart. Harvard University Press.

Popper, Karl R. 1972. Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach. Clarendon Press Oxford.

Powell, Walter W, and Jason Owen-Smith. 2012. “An Open Elite: Arbiters, Catalysts, or Gatekeepers in the Dynamics of Industry Evolution?” In The Emergence of Organizations and Markets, edited by John F Padgett and Walter W Powell, 466–95. Princeton University Press.

Resnik, David B. 2006. The Price of Truth: How Money Affects the Norms of Science. Oxford University Press.

Siegel, Donald S, David A Waldman, Leanne E Atwater, and Albert N Link. 2003. “Commercial Knowledge Transfers from Universities to Firms: Improving the Effectiveness of University–Industry Collaboration.” The Journal of High Technology Management Research 14 (1): 111–33.

Wagner, Izabela. 2011. Becoming Transnational Professional: Kariery I Mobilność Polskich Elit Naukowych. Wydawnictwo Naukowe Scholar.

Zuckerman, Harriet. 1967. “Nobel Laureates in Science: Patterns of Productivity, Collaboration, and Authorship.” American Sociological Review 32 (3): 391–403.

  1. Kozminski University. Corresponding author.

  2. University of Manchester and University of Warsaw.

  3. University of Warsaw.