Document Type

Research Paper

Publication Date



Using data from 88 journals over an 8 year period, we investigate the relationships among researchers in material handling. We apply social network analysis to measure many attributes of the network, including papers published each year, papers published per author, number of collaborators per author, strength of collaboration between authors, and how influential an author is in the network. We observe that collaboration patterns in material handling follow a scale-free structure in the presence of some hub-like researchers. According to social network theory, these hub researchers facilitate rapid dissemination of knowledge in the network. We conclude that the scientific community in material handling indeed forms a “small world,” yet the level of connectedness is lower than in other scientific networks. We hope these findings will inspire new and increasing levels of collaboration in the discipline.



Publication Title

Progress in Material Handling Research