TUE July 10, 2018 TUE July 10, 2018
3:30 pm 3:30 pm
Cartier I Cartier I

Catherine Hamilton

Graduate student in nursing, University of Florida

Raffaele Vacca

Research Assistant, Department of Sociology, Criminology and Law, University of Florida

Jeanne-Marie Stacciarini

Associate Professor, College of Nursing, University of Florida

Harold Grotevant

Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Ruth McRoy

Professor, School of Social Work, Boston College School of Social Work

Jesús Palacios

Jesús Palacios

Professor, Department of Developmental Psychology, University of Sevilla

JaeRan Kim

Assistant Professor, Social Work and Criminal Justice Program, University of Washington Tacoma

Louise Sims

Research Associate, University of Sussex

Symposium: Letters to a Young Scientist: Dialogue on Nurturing the Future of Adoption Research

Adoption Team Science: A Way Forward

Background: Publication surveys indicate adoption research is expanding, creating a research environment of increasing complexity and specialization, while also increasing risk of disciplinary fragmentation that impedes access to comprehensive holistic knowledge. Intentional cross-disciplinary collaboration has expanded throughout scientific and organizational communities worldwide on the evidence that scientific collaboration produces higher-impact research and that complex scientific problems are better investigated by interdisciplinary teams. The degree to which the expanding body of adoption research is performed in a collaborative and cross-disciplinary environment has not been formally evaluated. Social Network Analysis (SNA) has been applied in large bibliometric analyses to characterize the attributes of scholarly systems.

Aims: This research aims to elucidate the structure, composition and dynamics of scientific relationships of co-authorship and co-citation within the body of adoption research. Specifically to identify predominant disciplines, map collaborative relationships, uncover current and emerging intellectual leaders and detect structural network characteristics that may inform and strengthen research and practice strategies, competencies and cohesion within the field.
Methods: We extracted data on 2767 peer-reviewed adoption-related English-language articles published from the 1930s to 2014. We then applied statistical and social network analysis to evaluate frequencies and relationships of co-authorship and co-citation networks within the study and cited authors of the identified articles.

Findings: We found adoption research has grown substantially over the last 25 years and is conducted in varied disciplines. Collaboration increased over time at a greater rate than volume and expanded across geography and disciplinary areas. Changes in the most-connected authors indicate active dynamics, while stability in the most-cited authors indicate agreed-upon theoretical knowledge base. The co-authorship and co-citation networks grew in connectedness, with a surge since 2005-2009 time period. As a result, the network structures approach numeric thresholds and structural configurations distinctive of well-established and more institutionalized fields of study.

Implications: These findings reveal the maturation of adoption studies into an emerging team science that is unifying through collaboration, diversifying across disciplines and sharing knowledge of recognized intellectual communities and leaders. These strong indicators signal a readiness for the development of institutional mechanisms that support further evolution of the field, specifically intentional multi-disciplinary team building and the creation of a multi-disciplinary professional organization.

Round-table with adoption scholars

PURPOSE: The field of adoption studies, and academia generally, is facing a generational shift. The departure of senior faculty represents the loss of accumulated years of institutional wisdom and research expertise. At the same time, newly minted tenure-track faculty face a whole host of demands and constraints, including excellence in teaching, scholarship, and fundable research, that may dissuade them from entering the field. This presentation will bring together seasoned adoption scholars and junior scholars beginning their careers for a dialogue that will address the following questions: What can we do as a field to encourage young scientists to study adoption? What can we do, beyond the traditional mechanisms of publications and mentorship, to transfer knowledge of seasoned scholars and nurture the next generation of adoption scholars? What are the opportunities (i.e. new technology, big data, interdisciplinary work, grass-roots activism) that we can engage with to make adoption research a viable area of scientific inquiry into the future?

METHOD: This presentation will be a moderated round-table discussion with USA and non-USA adoption scholars (three senior and three junior faculty). The presentation will include a question and answer period with the audience.

FINDINGS/IMPLICATIONS: This presentation will stimulate ideas for how the field can nurture future scholars, continue the legacy of pioneering scholars, and generate opportunities that will make adoption research a vibrant area of scientific inquiry into the future.