Visual Analysis of the Networks from Brazilian Research Groups in Nursing

Fausto, Sibele, University of Sao Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
Pinho, Paula H, University of Sao Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
Oliveira, Marcia AF, University of Sao Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
Angelo, Margareth, University of Sao Paulo, São Paulo,Brazil
Silva, Isilia A, University of Sao Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
Turrini, Ruth NT, University of Sao Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil


In Health Sciences, research collaborations are a common fact, and one of the motivations in the formation of research groups is the free association of researchers with thematic affinity for theoretical and technical complementation [1-2]. In Brazil, there is the incentive on the part of public policy, through the scientific and technological development agencies, in shaping research groups with the aim, among others, to maximize the allocation of resources for research. This study aimed to identify and visualize the networks from research groups in the area of Nursing registered in the Directory of Research Groups, a database maintained by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, an official organism of Science and Technology sponsored by the  Brazilian Government.


The search in the directory was through 63 keywords of the Nursing area, identifying a total of 429 research groups. The data obtained were treated and standardized to allow their inter-relationship with a tool for Social Network Analysis [3], resulting in a high density network. Next step was performing an analysis of subsets of this network, through the themes of research, to a better visualization of the configuration of the groups involved with each topic.


 Results are presented in Figure1.

Discussion and conclusion

It was possible to highlight and view research groups working in nursing in Brazil on 14 different thematics: Fundamentals of Nursing, Nursing Practice, Ethics and Nursing, History of Nursing, Nursing Education, Management of Nursing Services, Nursing Care, Public Health and Nursing, Nursing and Family, Nursing in Mental Health, Nursing in Child Health, Nursing in Adult Health, Nursing in Women's Health and Nursing in Occupational Health. This study indicated which themes have a greater number of groups involved (Fundamentals of Nursing, Ethics and Nursing and Nursing Education), as well as those emerging themes, with the involvement of a low number of groups, as seen, for example, in Nursing in Mental Health and enlightens the configuration of the Health Information generation in Nursing in Brazil.  The study of networks allows a broader exploration of the scientific research environment, offering support for the decisions and assessments, to both educational institutions and research funding agencies.


Research Subjects, Research Groups, Social Networks, Nursing, Health Information
Legend Figure: 
Figure1: Nursing research groups by thematic
1254_Fausto et al_Figure.jpg65.27 KB
  1. Beaver D (2001). Reflections on scientific collaboration (and its study): past, present, and future. Scientometrics, 52(3): 365-377.
  2. Sonnenwald DH (2008). Scientific Collaboration. ARIST, 42(1): 643-681.
  3. Borgatti SP (2002). NetDraw Software for Network Visualization. Lexington, KY: Analytic Technologies. Available:  Accessed: 15 april 2012.
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