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China’s emerging centrality in the contemporary international scientific collaboration network

Zhihui Zhang (), Jason E. Rollins () and Evangelia Lipitakis ()
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Zhihui Zhang: Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Jason E. Rollins: Clarivate Analytics
Evangelia Lipitakis: Clarivate Analytics

Scientometrics, 2018, vol. 116, issue 2, 1075-1091

Abstract: Abstract In this paper we analyze the evolution of China’s growing importance in international scientific collaboration over the past 15 years. Using co-authored publications indexed in Clarivate Analytics’s Web of Science Core Collection we develop novel weighted and unweighted centrality measures to quantify China’s emerging role in the global scientific research network. We analyze the networks formed by international co-authorship in three 5-year periods: 2001–2005, 2006–2010, and 2011–2015. This analysis highlights China’s sharp increase in prominence in international scientific collaborations. The analysis of China’s co-authored, highly cited papers also illustrates China’s rising importance in scientific research and collaboration from a different perspective. The impact of multilaterally co-authored papers to the centrality measure is also analyzed both theoretically and empirically. The results show that multilateral collaboration is also a key factor that influences the centrality of a country beyond simply the scale of international co-authorship. We further contextualize our work in a discussion of international scientific collaboration as both a key driver of China’s economy and its emerging perception as a first-world innovator and intellectual power. Finally, we suggest directions for further research including more granular analysis by academic discipline and an alternative investigation based on the fractional counting method.

Keywords: International scientific collaboration; Centrality; Bilateral co-authorship; Multilateral co-authorship; Inflation rate (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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