Quantifying the benefits of international scientific collaboration Articles uri icon

publication date

  • February 2013

start page

  • 392

end page

  • 404


  • 2


  • 64

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1532-2882

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-2890


  • We analyze the benefits in terms of scientific impact deriving from international collaboration, examining both those for a country when it collaborates and also those for the other countries when they are collaborating with the former. The data show the more countries there are involved in the collaboration, the greater the gain in impact. Contrary to what we expected, the scientific impact of a country does not significantly influence the benefit it derives from collaboration, but does seem to positively influence the benefit obtained by the other countries collaborating with it. Although there was a weak correlation between these two classes of benefit, the countries with the highest impact were clear outliers from this correlation, tending to provide proportionally more benefit to their collaborating countries than they themselves obtained. Two surprising findings were the null benefit resulting from collaboration with Iran, and the small benefit resulting from collaboration with the United States despite its high impact.