Evolution of coauthorship in public health services and systems research. Academic Article uri icon



  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Humans
  • Public Health Practice

MeSH Major

  • Authorship
  • Health Services Research
  • Public Health Administration


  • Public health services and systems research (PHSSR) focuses on the structure, organization, and legal basis of domestic public health activities and their effect on population health. An accurate description of the field is needed to empower funding agencies and other stakeholders to coordinate PHSSR activities and to foster the development of the field. The purpose of the study is to characterize the emerging community of researchers engaged in PHSSR. This study (1) describes dynamics of this growing community and (2) identifies research themes, subgroups within the field, and collaboration among groups. Coauthorship network visualization of selected research publications in the MEDLINE bibliographic database between 1988 and May 2010. PHSSR has emerged gradually with noticeable growth after 1994 and after 2004. The network of PHSSR research has a core-periphery structure. The core includes highly collaborative researchers focusing on topics pertaining directly to PHSSR, such as workforce, quality improvement and performance, law, and information infrastructure. The periphery consists of groups publishing either on general health services research topics or on epidemiologic and clinical topics. Although a nucleus group of productive and engaged individuals participate in PHSSR, most also publish broadly on health services research and population health. This trend suggests that this emerging field cannot yet support a singular focus on PHSSR. Lack of funding sources and defined career paths likely contribute to this pattern. An overview of collaboration in PHSSR is an important step in advancing a coordinated research agenda and attracting sustainable funding streams for this field. Copyright © 2011 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • July 2011

has subject area

  • Authorship
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Public Health Administration
  • Public Health Practice



  • Journal Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC3677523

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.amepre.2011.03.018

PubMed ID

  • 21665073

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 112

end page

  • 117


  • 41


  • 1