On the development of China’s leadership in international collaborations

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This paper studies the relationship between leadership, team size, and citation impact in China’s international research output from 1980 to 2016, measured in terms of number of authors, institutions, countries, and citations. Distinction is here made between leading and non-leading Chinese international collaborations, which respectively refer to papers whose first or corresponding author is affiliated to a Chinese institution and papers co-authored by researchers from a Chinese institution but whose first and corresponding authors are not. Analysis at the individual, institutional, and country level show that while average team size by paper increases over the period, the main collaboration mode remains bilateral at the country level. We also observe a positive relationship between team size and research impact up to a certain point, but Chinese-led international collaborations tend to imply smaller teams and have lower impact than non-leading collaborations.

This content has been updated on March 4 2020 at 10 h 33 min.