Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (MS)

Degree Level



Health, Human Performance and Recreation


Kaitlin Gallagher

Committee Member

Matthew Ganio

Second Committee Member

Elizabeth Keiffer


curriculum, Exercise science, interdisciplinary collaborations, sub-disciplines


Exercise science is a growing field with sub-disciplines exploring various aspects of physical activity. Diverse perspectives allow the field to answer complex research questions, but little is known about the collaborative nature of exercise science today. Research practices have implications on undergraduate curriculum, likely incorporating experiential knowledge into course subject matter and providing diverse experiences for students entering the workforce. Therefore, the purpose of the pilot study is to visualize and quantify interdisciplinary collaborations within exercise science. Journal citation analysis and an adaptation of social networking theory were utilized to examine collaborative practices of exercise science faculty at the University of Arkansas during the 2018 calendar year. The model was replicated with exercise science faculty from a benchmark institution, School X, to assess feasibility. 70 articles were analyzed at the University of Arkansas (n=22) and School X (n=48). Total collaborations for the University of Arkansas and School X were 127 and 247 respectively. Collaborations occurred across 12 sub-disciplines at the University of Arkansas, with 13 sub-discipline collaborations occurring at School X. The pilot study presents a feasible method to study interdisciplinary collaborations within exercise science. Study findings support occurrence of interdisciplinary collaborations across the field, with collaboration trends specific to sub-disciplines. Research practices have curricular implications and educators must provide diverse experiences to prepare students to meet expectations of future employers. The visualization methodology would provide universities with a collaborative research environment the ability to market program strengths.

Keywords: Exercise science, interdisciplinary collaborations, sub-disciplines, curriculum