, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 423–428 | Cite as

The influence of international collaboration on the impact of research results

Some simple mathematical considerations concerning the role of self-citations
  • A. F. J. Van Raan
Short Communications


There is an ongoing discussion on the influence of international collaboration on impact as measured by citation-based indicators. Collaboration generally involves more authors than ‘no collaboration’ work and it is obvious that the phenomenon of self-citation will be stronger (there are more authors to cite themselves). Thus it can be seen as an important ‘amplifier’ of measured impact. Although this effect is certainly possible and already demonstrated recently, it should not be considered as the only or even major explanation of higher impact in the comparison between ‘no collaboration’ and international collaboration. Using data of an extensive bibliometric study of astronomical research in the Netherlands, we prove that higher rates of self-citation in international collaboration do not play any significant role as ‘impact amplifier’. The central point is that proper impact measurement must involve corrections for self-citations.


International Collaboration Major Explanation Average Citation Rate International Scientific Collaboration Science Citation Index Journal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    A. F. J. Van Raan (1997), Science as an international enterprise,Science and Public Policy, 24, 5, 290–300.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    H. F. Moed, R. E. de Bruin, A. J. Nederhof, R. J. W. Tijssen (1991), International scientific cooperational and awareness within the European Community: Problems and Perspectives,Scientometrics, 21, 291–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    J. D. Frame, M. P. Carpenter (1979), International research collaboration,Social Studies of Science, 9, 481–497.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    F. Narin, E. S. Whitlow (1990),Measurement of scientific cooperation and co-authorship in EC-related areas of science. Luxemburg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. EC-Report EUR 12900.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    H. Herbertz (1995), Does it pay to cooperate? A bibliometric case study in moleculare biology,Scientometrics, 33, 117–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    S. Bonzi, H. W. Snyder (1991), Motivations for citation: a comparison of self citation and citation to others,Scientometrics, 21, 245–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    A. F. J. van Raan, Th. N. van Leeuwen (1995)A Decade of Astronomy Research in the Netherlands. Research Report to the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (Astronomy Division, NWO/ASTRON). Leiden: Centre for Science and Technology Studies, report CWTS-95-01, 1995.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    H. F. Moed, R. E. De Bruin, Th. N. Van Leeuwen (1995), New bibliometric tools for the assessment of national research performance: database description, overview of indicators and first applications,Scientometrics, 33, 381–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    A. F. J. Van Raan (1996), Advanced bibliometric methods as quantitative core of peer review based evaluation and foresight exercises,Scientometrics, 36, 397–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. F. J. Van Raan
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS)University of LeidenLeiden(The Netherlands)

Personalised recommendations