UIG collaborations were mapped based on data corresponding to all research publications indexed in Web of Science database during 2005 to 2014.
"A total of 459,164 publication records from India were downloaded. Out of this 235,036 research records involved some kind of multi-institution collaboration.
"The analysis revealed IIT is the top participant in all categories of collaboration in the research output data for India for the period 2005 to 2014," Vivek Kumar Singh of the Department of Computer Science, Banaras Hindu University, told IANS.
"The IITs and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research are the two prominent players with many collaboration output pairs," said Vivek Singh, lead author of the study which showed that the university-government partnership is the most prominent collaborative sector.
Published in Current Science in May, the study is co-authored by Rupika and Ashraf Uddin from the Department of Computer Science, South Asian University, New Delhi.
For computational processing, the downloaded research data was annotated to belong to university (U), industry (I) and government (G) sectors.
Each publication record was categorised as belonging to university (government and private academic institutions), industry (industrial organisations largely private) and government (mainly research labs like DRDO, CSIR and the like), Vivek Singh elaborated.
"Then all publication records were analysed to see if they have affiliations from at least two institutions from different sectors (university, industry and government).
"All the records were then accordingly labelled as UI (university-industry), UG (university-government), IG (industry-government) or UIG (university-industry-government) instances," Vivek Singh said.
This enabled the researchers to identify the top 10 institutions from the university, industry and government sectors which are part of UI, IG, UG and UIG collaborations.
While IITs were the top participating institutions in UI, UG, IG, UIG collaborations, TIFR figured next in both IG and UIG linkages. The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre clinched the second spot in UI and UG partnerships respectively.
The IITs and TIFR also made it to the top five UI and UG collaborative pairs in the country.
The Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University and Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd. topped the UI pairing with 192 collaborations while the IITs and the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre ranked first in the top five UG pairs with 662 joint ventures.
As many as 33 collaborations between Tata Memorial Hospital and the Advanced Centre for Treatment and Research and Education in Cancer pushed the pair to the top in the top five IG pairs.
In addition, the group also pinpointed subject-wise variations in the UIG network.
"University-government collaboration is higher in biological sciences and environmental science. In case of UI collaboration, medical sciences and geology report higher output.
"The IG collaboration is prevalent in arts and humanities, medical sciences, geology and biological sciences. In UIG collaboration, arts and humanities, medical sciences, multidisciplinary, geology and biological sciences are prominent," the study said.
"The paper focusses only on measuring the collaboration activity among different sectors without any effort to know the reasons and to the best of our knowledge there has been no previous work of this type in Indian setting," Vivek Singh said.
He added that a direct inference that can be made is that the IITs and TIFR are "well-established institutions with a track record of good research and collaboration with other organisations (industry as well as government labs)".