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International temporary mobility of researchers: a cross-discipline study


  • Carolina Cañibano

    () (Universitat Politècnica de Valencia)

  • F. Javier Otamendi

    (Paseo de Artilleros s/n)

  • Francisco Solís

    (Junta de Andalucía)


The increasing literature addressing international mobility of researchers has repeatedly pointed out the lack of empirical data compiled over the last two decades, jeopardizing progress in the understanding of the characteristics and impacts of such human flows. This paper makes a contribution to the field by exploring the extent to which information obtained from researchers’ electronic curriculum vitae (CV) may be used to study temporary geographical mobility. We exploit a new type of data set—a comprehensive database of electronic CVs—developing a broad set of cross-discipline mobility indicators to assess the dimensions and characteristics of international research visits among a population of over 10,000 researchers. The sample population is made up of PhD holders working in the regional research system of Andalusia, Spain. Information regarding their international research visits over the last four decades is downloaded from CVs contained in the electronic scientific information system of the region. We assess mobility rates and the characteristics of the temporary mobile population. The analysis of visiting patterns shows significant differences in mobility profiles in terms of frequency, duration and destination of visits, across disciplines, career stages and time periods. The study also shows how different definitions of international mobility lead to substantial variations in cross-discipline mobility rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Carolina Cañibano & F. Javier Otamendi & Francisco Solís, 2011. "International temporary mobility of researchers: a cross-discipline study," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 89(2), pages 653-675, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:89:y:2011:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-011-0462-2
    DOI: 10.1007/s11192-011-0462-2

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Robinson-Garcia, Nicolás & Sugimoto, Cassidy R. & Murray, Dakota & Yegros-Yegros, Alfredo & Larivière, Vincent & Costas, Rodrigo, 2019. "The many faces of mobility: Using bibliometric data to measure the movement of scientists," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 50-63.
    2. Galina L. Volkova & Egor A. Nikishin, 2019. "Interregional Mobility Of Russian Researchers: Moving For A Promising Job," HSE Working papers WP BRP 103/STI/2019, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    3. Vadim N. Gureyev & Nikolay A. Mazov & Denis V. Kosyakov & Andrey E. Guskov, 2020. "Review and analysis of publications on scientific mobility: assessment of influence, motivation, and trends," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 124(2), pages 1599-1630, August.
    4. Naomi Fukuzawa, 2014. "An empirical analysis of the relationship between individual characteristics and research productivity," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 99(3), pages 785-809, June.
    5. He, Zekai & Zhen, Ni & Wu, Chaojiang, 2019. "Measuring and exploring the geographic mobility of American professors from graduating institutions: Differences across disciplines, academic ranks, and genders," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 771-784.
    6. Luis Sanz-Menéndez & Laura Cruz-Castro & Kenedy Alva, 2013. "Time to Tenure in Spanish Universities: An Event History Analysis," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 8(10), pages 1-1, October.
    7. Ekaterina L. Dyachenko, 2017. "Internal migration of scientists in Russia and the USA: the case of physicists," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 113(1), pages 105-122, October.
    8. Nane, Gabriela F. & Larivière, Vincent & Costas, Rodrigo, 2017. "Predicting the age of researchers using bibliometric data," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 713-729.
    9. Ernesto R. Gantman, 2012. "Economic, linguistic, and political factors in the scientific productivity of countries," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 93(3), pages 967-985, December.
    10. Falk, Martin & Hagsten, Eva, 2019. "Attractiveness and efficiency of European universities as hosts for Marie Curie grant holders," Annual Conference 2019 (Leipzig): 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall - Democracy and Market Economy 203664, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    11. Vadim N. Gureyev & Nikolay A. Mazov & Denis V. Kosyakov & Andrey E. Guskov, 0. "Review and analysis of publications on scientific mobility: assessment of influence, motivation, and trends," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 0, pages 1-32.


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