The field of scientometrics has been looking at the identification of co-authorship through network mapping. Research on this topic focuses on the cooperation of two authors who have published papers together. However, this paper is exploring the latent association of two authors. By ‘latent association’, we mean that the collaboration between two researchers has not yet occurred but might very likely take place in the future. In this paper, we will aim to find out a couple of authors who have never published together and who bear similar academic interests or study similar subjects. We will also show how the concepts of Yuan (Interdependent arising), Kong (Emptiness), Shi (Energy) and Guanxi (Relationship) in Chinese philosophy contribute to understand ‘latent associations’. These four Chinese concepts are the theoretical basis of this paper. By explaining one by one what each concept is about we hope to tackle the two following questions: What do those four concepts exactly tell us? And how are they linked together? Finally, we will look at the empirical case study in scientometrics. We hope to show that this application of Chinese concepts can unravel latent associations between researchers in Database.
The Interdependent Arising (“Yuan” in Chinese 缘)
The Chinese believe that every phenomenon arise within the context of a mutually interdependent web of cause and effect as much in time as in space. This concept is also the basis of Buddhism thought, as it is encompassed in the following classical formulation:
“When this is, that is.
From the arising of this comes the arising of that.
When this isn’t, that isn’t.
From the cessation of this comes the cessation of that.” (Samyutta Nikaya雜阿含經)
This formulation illustrates the Asian ontology which is that everything appears only because of the arrival of its “arising dependent” (Yuan) and it exists because its “arising dependent” exists. They believe that everything is conditioned and reciprocally influenced (Lai 2003, Cai 1990, Wei 1982, Fo 1992, Duo 1996, 2006). There is nothing in the universe that can survive without its interconnection with other things. Everything depends on everything else. This interdepence forms an incredibly complex web of causation and result encompassing the three universes of foretime, present and future (Figure 1). Whatever we are in whatever form, whenever and wherever we are situated in the world, we are the elements of a connected web within a multidimensional causal nexus (of time and space). In other words, we are just the interconnected nodes of an intricate network receiving the arrows and then sending them to others.
Complex web of causation and result of all things
Key Terms in this Chapter
Kong (Emptiness): Buddhism philosophy. It means everything in the world is empty and it implies many possibilities. By finding out the self-nature of things, the Kong vision enhance a clearly observation and a profound thinking that are often blinded by the appearance.
Latent Association: From a type point of view, latent associations refers to the co-work of researchers that has not occurred until present but will be very possible to take place in the future.
Yuan: It means all phenomena arise in the context of a mutually independent web of cause and effect as much in time as in space. Yuan could be considered as the reason of everything.
Guanxi: Chinese concept, a kind of interpersonal relationship, from a type point of view, Guanxi is considered as a standard of personal social evaluation.
Knowledge Discovery: A kind of nontrivial study on extracting implicit and potential, useful information and then transform them accurately into intelligent information.
Shi (Energy): A kind of momentum contained in the surrounding environment that could be borrowed, transferred or even created to help people achieve his target.
Scientometrics: It means a science of all applications of mathematical and statistical methods which are often developed to measure and evaluate the scientific publications.