Identifier

etd-11082006-195059

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

This research attempts to shed light on the simultaneous influence of scientifically strong countries on Internet use and knowledge production at the global periphery. Using survey data from interviews of 312 Filipino scientists, this study answers the following questions: (1) Does place of graduate education (i.e., Australia, Japan, the United States and the Philippines) configure scientists’ Internet use? (2) Does Internet use shape scientists’ professional network? (3) Does place of graduate education, Internet use and professional network influence collaboration and research productivity? and (4) How does collaboration relate to productivity when professional network is accounted for? Results show that digital inequality occurs at advanced levels of hardware-software-user interaction skills, which appear to be emerging dimensions of a new form of digital inequality; these are mainly configured by level and place of graduate education. The effect of place of graduate education on networks is such that foreign training tends to increase the proportion of contacts at the scientific core. Much of the effect of the Internet lies on those components of professional network that has to do with network size, proportion of male alters, proportion of alters who are at the scientific core, location diversity, and multiplexity of communication means. Results further suggest that most scientists are involved in domestic collaboration, and that network size is positively associated with the number of collaborative projects. Whether or not networks are comprised of foreign contacts, or whether they possess a more gender-balanced configuration does not influence collaborative patterns. As regards productivity, results indicate that after relevant scientist attributes are controlled for, collaboration does not influence scientific output. There are clear indications that having a doctoral degree, possessing advanced hardware-software-user interaction skills, large networks, having more contacts at the scientific core, and proportion male alters strongly influence productivity. While professional networks influence collaboration, collaboration does not affect productivity. It could be that involvement in collaborations generates problems that undermine productivity so that scientists simply informally and causally activate their network without formally and officially engaging them in projects. It appears that this strategy is less problematic than engaging in formal collaborations.

Date

2006

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Wesley M. Shrum, Jr.

Included in

Sociology Commons

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