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I was involved in an exploratory longitudinal study of the evolution of an
academic co-authorship network over 32 years. Maybe, the resulting paper and
the event-driven dynamic network analysis approach that we adopted are
useful for your project:

Trier, M. & Molka-Danielsen, J. (2013). Sympathy or strategy: social capital
drivers for collaborative contributions to the IS community. European
Journal of Information Systems, 22(3), 317-335. 
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/ejis.2012.27

The following link takes you to interesting additional material, e.g. a
comparison of time periods and a related video of the dynamic evolution of
the network:

http://www.commetrix.net/irisnetwork

In our study, we could make use of the dynamic SNA tool Commetrix
(commetrix.net) to visually trace how the network evolves and to derive
interesting periods (we had different countries taking over central
positions, as well as different topics). This event-driven approach is not
requiring fixed time periods and gives a good impression how these network
evolved. Also, the research was exploratory and used many network
parameters. We found the very long diameter and generally path lengths (or
low transitivity) quite revealing.

Best,
Matthias Trier

-- 
Dr. Matthias Trier
Associate Professor
Department of IT Management
Copenhagen Business School

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