Center for Public Policy Studies

Marek Kwiek in “Studies in Higher Education”: “What Large-scale Publication and Citation Data Tell Us about International Research Collaboration in Europe”

April, 2020

Marek Kwiek’s analysis of international research collaboration in Europe in the last decade is published in “Studies in Higher Education”:

“What large-scale publication and citation data tell us about international research collaboration in Europe: changing national patterns in global contexts“.

This study analyzes the unprecedented growth of international research collaboration (IRC) in Europe during the period 2009–2018 in terms of co-authorship and citation distribution of globally indexed publications. The results reveal the dynamics of this change, as growing IRC moves European science systems away from institutional collaboration, with stable and strong national collaboration. Domestic output has remained flat. The growth in publications in major European systems is almost entirely attributable to internationally co-authored papers. A comparison of trends within the four complementary collaboration modes clearly reveals that the growth of European science is driven solely by internationally co-authored papers. With the emergence of global network science, which diminishes the role of national policies in IRC and foregrounds the role of scientists, the individual scientist’s willingness to collaborate internationally is central to advancing IRC in Europe. Scientists collaborate internationally when it enhances their academic prestige, scientific recognition, and access to research funding, as indicated by the credibility cycle, prestige maximization, and global science models. The study encompassed 5.5 million Scopus-indexed articles, including 2.2 million involving international collaboration.

Selected visualization of a decade (2009-2018) of changes:

Figure 3. Increasing international collaboration at the expense of institutional collaboration, with stable national collaboration (for all fields of research and development combined): Europe as EU-28, EU-15, and EU-13 plus major EU-28 and comparator countries (articles only) 2009–2018 (%).

Figure 4. Total, domestic, and international collaborative publications for France, Germany, and the United Kingdom (2009–2018). All increase in total output is international collaboration; national collaboration remains flat in number, declining in percentage terms.

Figure 8. Field-weighted citation impact (FWCI) of internationally co-authored publications: articles only, self-citations included, by country and field of research and development, 2009–2018.