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Researchers evaluate academic mobility of Russian scientists

June 07, 2016, 17:39 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Scientists found out, that one in ten actively publishing Russian researchers works simultaneously at a national and at a foreign academic institutions

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© Mikhail Metzel/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, June 3. /TASS/. Researchers from the Institute of Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge from The National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) have estimated the international academic mobility of Russian scientists. It has been found out, that one in ten actively publishing Russian researchers works simultaneously at a national and at a foreign academic institutions. The United States, Germany, France, and UK enjoy the most popularity among Russian researchers.

For this investigation, the HSE scientists have analyzed the database Web of Science (Thomson Reuters) that collects the publications from more than 12.5 thousands of international scientific journals. According to these data, the number of mobile scientists in different countries of the world has been evaluated. The researchers, who work simultaneously in several institutions of various countries and consequently give their positions and affiliations in the articles, have been counted. The investigation has been done as a part of Highly-Qualified Scientific Personnel Labor Market Monitoring. The results have been reported in the article in SpringerPlus journal.

In Russia, the rate of mobile scientists from the overall number of Russian researchers, who actively publish their work in foreign and international journals, is about 10% As a comparison, according to the statistics, the same rate for Germany and Austria is 8%, for UK - 7% and for France - 6%

Apart from bibliometric data, the researchers have used social and economical indices for 56 countries of the world and found out that the scientists from less developed countries on the average have a part-time or remote work in the countries with more developed science. As for Russia, in the global scientific system, it is situated between East and West, i.e. between developed and developing scientific systems.

Interestingly, the Russian mobile authors are distributed in the affiliation space in a pronounced non-homogeneous way. The 57.8% of them are affiliated with G7 and Switzerland, while only 9.3% work with Japan, China, South Korea, Brazil, and India. To note is the fact, that the highly-cited Russian mobile authors gain foreign affiliations in the institutions located in the more scientifically-developed countries as compared to the less cited authors.

The HSE researchers emphasizes, that the scientific mobility is a consequence of international division of academic labor, which progressively hinders the definition of institutional and national affiliation of an academician. The mobile scientists acquire the traits, which are rather specific for a quantum object: de jure a scientist work at the same time in two or three organizations located in different countries, and in a sense he is delocalized in the geographical space, as sketched in the press release.

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