Name ambiguity influences centrality of co-authorship networks

Name ambiguity can create several problems in bibliometrics and Social Network Analysis studies related to this type of data. It is an unsolved issue that has become more complex in recent years due to increasing worldwide scientific publication, more specifically in far eastern countries. The aim of the article was to show how name ambiguity influences centrality metrics in Social Network Analysis. The study was based on co-authorship relations of approximately 30 000 articles indexed in Thomson Reuters/Web of Science. Three co-authorship networks were developed using different ways to record the authors' names. The results showed significant differences among the networks when considering degree centrality, closeness and betweenness. The study points out the importance of standardizing names and the need to further discuss the issue in the academic environment in an endeavor to find alternative solutions.