Transfer of formal knowledge through international scientific mobility – introduction of a network-based bibliometric method

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Transfer of formal knowledge through international scientific mobility – introduction of a network-based bibliometric method

Type: Article in monograph or in proceedings
Title: Transfer of formal knowledge through international scientific mobility – introduction of a network-based bibliometric method
Author: Aman V.
Journal Title: STI 2018 Conference Proceedings
Start Page: 545
End Page: 552
Publisher: Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS)
Issue Date: 2018-09-11
Keywords: Scientometrics
Abstract: Despite growing interest among scholars and policy-makers in better understanding the effects of international mobility on knowledge transfer, little is known about whether and how international mobility of scientists affects their propensity to engage in knowledge transfer. So far, there are no adequate methods to measure knowledge transfer of internationally mobile scientists. Most of the previous studies using bibliometrics as an instrument to explore international mobility of scientists have focused either on mobility flows or on productivity and citation impact analyses. In this paper, I address the knowledge gap of whether international mobility leads to knowledge transfer and advance our understanding of how knowledge transfer processes can be identified and visualized. Therefore, I describe a new approach that builds upon bibliometric networks as an instrument to study characteristics of formal knowledge transfer. The method presented is based on the assumption that international mobility fosters collaboration that finds its expression in co-authored publications. Whenever scientists co-publish they interact so that different types of knowledge can be transferred, i.e. tacit knowledge that is not yet codified in publications and formal knowledge such as the recommendation to read a publication. Informing colleagues about relevant literature is one specific form of knowledge transfer and is operationalized in this study as the “passing on of references”. Based on a data set comprising German scientists and their co-authors publishing between 2007 and 2015 in journals covered by Scopus, I provide co-authorship networks where nodes represent authors using a specific reference and edges denote the co-authorship relation between two nodes. The references under study are rarely used according to Scopus and were assumingly passed on through international mobility. The method I present is capable of identifying actors involved in knowledge transfer and the network-based visualization helps to comprehend knowledge flows. Drawing evidence from several network diagrams, I conclude that internationally mobile scientists act both as receivers and transmitters of knowledge. Findings of this study contribute to a better understanding of how international mobility impacts knowledge transfer.
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/65194
 

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