Scientific collaborations as complex adaptive systems

This paper suggests that complexity theory can provide tools and insights into scientific collaborations. By using six propositions, which were established by observing the qualitative properties of complex systems, examples of how the most important features of complex adaptive systems exist in scientific collaborations are provided. (1) Scientific collaborations are potentially complex adaptive systems because of the many counteracting forces in them. (2) A basic protocol in the formation of a scientific collaboration could lead to a very complex system due to the tendency of forming non-linear relationships among the counteracting forces. (3) More need to be thought about the concept of equilibrium of scientific collaborations as their mortality requires a different approach than the current organizational theories. (4) Prediction impossibility is controversial. (5) The emergence of collaborations could be explained through ‘self-organization’. (6) Actions’ irreversibility exists.
Emergence: Complexity and Organization


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Citation Formats
A. U. Aydınoğlu, “Scientific collaborations as complex adaptive systems,” Emergence: Complexity and Organization, pp. 15–29, 2010, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: