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Why and Wherefore of Increased Scientific Collaboration

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  • Richard B. Freeman
  • Ina Ganguli
  • Raviv Murciano-Goroff

Abstract

This paper examines international and domestic collaborations using data from an original survey of corresponding authors and Web of Science data of articles with a US coauthor in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Biotechnology and Applied Microbiology, and Particle and Field Physics. The data allows us to investigate the connections among coauthors and the views of corresponding authors about the collaboration. We have four main findings. First, we find that US collaborations have increased across US cities as well as across international borders, with the nature of collaborations across cities resembling that across countries. Second, face-to-face meetings are important in collaborations: most collaborators first met working in the same institution and communicate often through meetings coauthors from distant location. Third, the main reason for most collaborations are to combine the specialized knowledge and skills of coauthors, with however, substantial differences in the mode of collaborations between small lab-based science and big science, where international collaborations are more prevalent. Fourth, we find that citation rates are higher in international collaborations than in domestic collaborations in biotech but not in the other two fields. Moreover, in all three fields, papers with the same number of coauthors had lower citations if they were international collaborations. Overall, our findings suggest that all collaborations are best viewed from a framework of collaborations across space broadly, rather than in terms of international as opposed to domestic collaborative activity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19819.

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Date of creation: Jan 2014
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Publication status: Forthcoming: Why and Wherefore of Increased Scientific Collaboration , Richard B. Freeman, Ina Ganguli, Raviv Murciano-Goroff. in The Changing Frontier: Rethinking Science and Innovation Policy , Jaffe and Jones. 2014
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19819

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Cited by:
  1. Ajay Agrawal & John McHale & Alexander Oettl, 2013. "Collaboration, Stars, and the Changing Organization of Science: Evidence from Evolutionary Biology," NBER Working Papers 19653, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ginger Zhe Jin & Benjamin Jones & Susan Feng Lu & Brian Uzzi, 2013. "The Reverse Matthew Effect: Catastrophe and Consequence in Scientific Teams," NBER Working Papers 19489, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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