South African Journal of Science
On-line version ISSN 1996-7489
Print version ISSN 0038-2353
Co-authorship networks are graphs in which the nodes of the graph represent authors and two authors are connected by an edge if they have written one or more papers together. When applied to the authorship of scholarly papers, analysing the structure of a co-authorship network can provide useful insights into the way in which research is carried out in a particular field. We examine two co-authorship networks in our article, constructed from papers written on the subjects of chemistry and mathematics during the period 1990 to 2005, in which at least one of the authors was South African. Local results are compared with other studies conducted in much larger discipline-wide networks. We find that many of the same patterns exist locally, with the main difference being a far more fragmented South African mathematics network. We discuss some tentative implications of these results.