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This article analyses Spain's Campus of International Excellence (CEI) Programme and its potential for raising the visibility of the country's universities, optimising resources and intensifying interaction with the local surrounds. The examples studied are the UAM-CSIC (Autonomous University of Madrid + National Research Council) and EUSKAMPUS (University of the Basque Country + Donostia International Physics Center) CEIs. The main characteristics, mission and aims of these initiatives are discussed. The results are analysed in terms of the papers published in journals listed in international databases (Web of Science). The analysis compares each university's individual output to the results obtained by these inter-institutional alliances. The improvement observed in all the indicators studied highlights the importance of joining forces to attain higher visibility. (C) 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
campus of international excellence; spain; inter-institutional alliances; university performance