Impact of scientific, economic, geopolitical, and cultural factors on international research collaboration

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number101194
Journal / PublicationJournal of Informetrics
Issue number3
Online published20 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


Scientific research has been increasingly globalized over the past decades. Each country may choose to collaborate more closely with some countries than others, resulting in non-trivial structural patterns in international collaboration networks. While the structure of the collaboration networks among countries has been widely studied, the origin of such structure still lacks of systematic exploration. Analyzing bibliometric data from six disciplines, this paper reveals four categories of significant drivers for the collaboration closeness between countries, namely science, economy, geopolitics, and culture respectively. Countries with large and equivalent scientific sizes, as well as economic sizes, are more likely to collaborate closely with each other. In particular, comemberships in intergovernmental organizations largely promote close collaboration in science. Cultural links, including the shared language and religion, also facilitate close collaboration between countries. The analytical results shall provide insights on policy-making regarding the design of national research systems and international collaboration strategies.

Research Area(s)

  • Collaboration closeness, Common intergovernmental organization, Common language, Common religion, International collaboration network