• Co-authorship has increased in speleothem-derived palaeo-climate proxy methodological sub-communities
  • There is increased connectivity between the different methodological sub-communities
  • These methodological sub-communities are well connected to members of the broader speleothem palaeo-climate proxy community which were not represented in the methods-based data set
  • When networks are highly connected, information, ideas and methods are shared more efficiently – this bodes well for the ability of the speleothem-derived palaeo-climate proxy community to tackle emerging complex problems using inter-disciplinary tools


Understanding the environmental context of speleothem palaeo-climate proxies is fundamental to their interpretation. We analyse four methodological approaches to accomplish this: stalactite discharge analysis, proxy/process tracer studies, discharge modelling, and geophysics. Datamining produced citation data sets that reflected these methodological sub-disciplines. Social network analysis is used to examine co-authorship within and between these sub-disciplines, and between the joint methodological community and the broader speleothem proxy climate community. Members of the sub-disciplines have become more connected to one another over time, and to members of the other sub-disciplines. High degrees of connectivity between and within communities allows for the rapid and efficient adoption of new ideas and methods, and will enable the community to effectively tackle emerging complex problems.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Supplementary Figure 1.jpg (316 kB)
Supplementary Figure 1. Co-authorship networks for each methodological sub-community over discrete units in time (4-5 years), where N is the number of publications, A is the number of unique authors, and AD is the average degree (the mean number of co-authors that each unique author has). The figure shows that networks form differently when analysis is undertaken on snapshots in time. Links between former collaborators are not represented if the collaboration occurred outside the discrete time period. Nonetheless, the stalactite discharge and discharge modelling sub-disciplines continue to show relatively high rates of collaboration with diverse members of the networks.

Supplementary Material.zip (1621 kB)
This zip file contains the scripts and data used to produce the analysis within our paper "Co-authorship analysis of the speleothem proxy-climate community: working together to tackle the big problems".