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The Myth of Global Science

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  • Stefan Hennemann

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  • Diego Rybski
  • Ingo Liefner
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    Abstract

    Scientific collaboration, in most cases, is seen a joint action on a global scale that involves researchers from not just one region or one country but instead forming an international network of researchers. This type of epistemic communities build up especially in the case of analytical modes of knowledge production. Rationales for a global science system are needs for complementary ressources in an increasingly specialized world. Further, information and communication technologies contributed to flatten the world for intense, yet spatially distant collaboration. Based on the large scale analysis of the production of scientific publications in six distinct technologies/scientific fields from 2004 to 2008 these notions may be challenged. The probability of a collaboration is a power-law function of the distance between the participating authors: The higher the spatial proximity, the higher the chance of a jointly written paper, i.e. collaboration. Two main universal effects can be isolated: an intra-country effect following a power law with a negative exponent, and an inter-country effect that shows features of a random distributed distance function. The former effect outcompetes the latter by a factor of around 50-100. This behaviour has inevitable consequences for the design of research collaboration programs by governments world-wide.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa10p246.

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    Date of creation: Sep 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa10p246

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    1. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Riccardo Crescenzi, 2008. "Mountains in a flat world: why proximity still matters for the location of economic activity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 23322, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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    8. Caroline S Wagner, 2002. "The elusive partnership: Science and foreign policy," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(6), pages 409-417, December.
    9. Ron Boschma, 2005. "Proximity and Innovation: A Critical Assessment," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 61-74.
    10. Jarno Hoekman & Koen Frenken & Frank Oort, 2009. "The geography of collaborative knowledge production in Europe," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 721-738, September.
    11. Dominic Power & Anders Malmberg, 2008. "The contribution of universities to innovation and economic development: in what sense a regional problem?," Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Cambridge Political Economy Society, vol. 1(2), pages 233-245.
    12. Philip Cooke, 2009. "The Economic Geography Of Knowledge Flow Hierarchies Among Internationally Networked Medical Bioclusters: A Scientometric Analysis," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 100(3), pages 332-347, 07.
    13. Mario Maggioni & Teodora Uberti, 2009. "Knowledge networks across Europe: which distance matters?," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 691-720, September.
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