Growth of International Cooperation in Science: Revisiting Six Case Studies

12/20/2016 ∙ by Caroline S. Wagner, et al. ∙ 0

International collaboration in science continues to grow at a remarkable rate, but little agreement exists about dynamics of growth and organization at the discipline level. Some suggest that disciplines differ in their collaborative tendencies, reflecting their epistemic culture. This study examines collaborative patterns in six previously studied specialties to add new data and conduct analyses over time. Our findings show that the global network of collaboration continues to add new nations and new participants; each specialty has added many new nations to its lists of collaborating partners since 1990. We also find that the scope of international collaboration is positively related to impact. Network characteristics for the six specialties are notable in that instead of reflecting underlying culture, they tend towards convergence. This observation suggests that the global level may represent next-order dynamics that feed back to the national and local levels (as subsystems) in a complex, networked hierarchy.

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