The traditional ‘scientific superpowers’ still lead the field. The USA, Western Europe and Japan all invest heavily in research and receive a substantial return in terms of performance, with large numbers of research articles, the lion’s share of citations on those articles, and successful translation, as seen through the rates of patent registration.
The scientific world is becoming increasingly interconnected, with international collaboration on the rise. Today over 35% of articles published in international journals are internationally collaborative, up from 25% 15 years ago.
The connections of people, through formal and informal channels, diaspora communities, virtual global networks and professional communities of shared interests are important drivers of international collaboration. These networks span the globe. Motivated by the bottom-up exchange of scientific insight, knowledge and skills, they are changing the focus of science from the national to the global level.
Yet little is understood about the dynamics of networking and the mobility of scientists, how these affect global science and how best to harness these networks to catalyse international collaboration.