by Wolfgang Glšnzel
The main objective of this study is the elaboration
of national characteristics in international scientific co-authorship
and the analysis of their changes in EIT countries in the East Central
European region (ECE). An attempt is made to monitor and map the development
and changes in co-publication links, in the relation between international
co-authorship and in the characteristics of both, national research profiles
and citation impact.
Bibliometric indicators were used to measure the share of internationally co-authored publications in the national total as well as the strength of co-publication links between countries. The latter measure allows mapping of 'symmetric' links. 'Asymmetry' in co-authorship links can be found using rank distributions of the share of 'partner countries' in all international papers and their corresponding share in the world total.
The comparison of the profiles of 'domestic' and 'internationally co-authored' publications defined on the basis of eight major fields was used to analyse deviating relative specialisation in international collaboration. Publication profiles were normalised to compensate the influence of extensive international collaboration in certain fields, for instance, in physics.
Finally, the citation frequency distributions of domestic
and internationally co-authored papers in selected country were compared,
and a relative citation measure was used to measure the 'attractivity'
of international co-publications of countries and country pairs compared
with the corresponding expected and domestic citation rates.
Co-publication maps for 1995/96 reveal structural changes in international co-authorship links in the last decade. Besides stable links and coherent clusters, also new nodes and links have been found. The ECE countries have successfully reintegrated into the international scientific system. As expected, an increasing scientific collaboration with highly developed countries, first of all with Germany and the USA, can be observed in the 90s. However, traditional geopolitical ties still play an important part in several ECE countries. Not all links between individual countries are symmetric. Specific (unidirectional) co-authorship affinity could also be detected in several countries. In general, four basis types could be distinguished in the relative specialisation of domestic and internationally co-authored publications:
Although international co-authorship, at an average,
results in publications with higher citation rates than domestic papers,
the influence of international collaboration on the national citation
impact varies among the countries (and within one individual country among
the fields). In some cases, collaboration seems, at least from the viewpoint
of citation indicators, not to pay for one or even either partner.
The analysis of the share of international co-publications, of their publication profiles and of specific co-authorship affinities allows the conclusion that international collaboration might in part be used to compensate lacking research facilities in the own countries.
The deviation between the citation distribution of "international" and "domestic" papers in several countries and several fields proved to be considerable in favour of the international co-publications. Nevertheless, the citation impact of internationally co-authored papers in some countries, especially in chemistry, remains by far below the international standard.
Finally, the question, in how far the large share of international co-publications in some countries can be interpreted in terms of migration, and might therefore reflect some undesired tendencies as well, must be raised.