Library Element Article

Open countries have strong science

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Uploaded by RRI Tools on 09 October 2017

Open countries have strong science. Caroline S. Wagner& Koen Jonkers. Nature, Vol 550, Issue 7674, October 2017.

Caroline S. Wagner and Koen Jonkers find a clear correlation between a nation's scientific influence and the links it fosters with foreign researchers.

International projects account for at least 20% of national government spending on scientific research. Some countries spend as much as 50% of these funds on international collaborations. The number of internationally co-authored papers is growing rapidly. For countries at the forefront of research, the fraction of papers that are entirely 'home grown' is falling.

Is there a connection? We analysed publication and citation data for 36 nations, along with government expenditures on science. We found that although government spending on research and development (R&D) does correlate with the number of publications produced, it does not correlate with scientific impact — at least as assessed by citations, one of the few practical metrics available. What does correlate with impact is a country's openness, which we approximated by combining metrics of international co-authorship and the mobility of each nation's research workforce.

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