, Volume 101, Issue 3, pp 1987–2001 | Cite as

A bibliometric approach to tracking international scientific migration

  • Henk F. Moed
  • Gali Halevi


A bibliometric approach is explored to tracking international scientific migration, based on an analysis of the affiliation countries of authors publishing in peer reviewed journals indexed in Scopus™. The paper introduces a model that relates base concepts in the study of migration to bibliometric constructs, and discusses the potentialities and limitations of a bibliometric approach both with respect to data accuracy and interpretation. Synchronous and asynchronous analyses are presented for 10 rapidly growing countries and 7 scientifically established countries. Rough error rates of the proposed indicators are estimated. It is concluded that the bibliometric approach is promising provided that its outcomes are interpreted with care, based on insight into the limits and potentialities of the approach, and combined with complementary data, obtained, for instance, from researchers’ Curricula Vitae o, survey or questionnaire- based data. Error rates for units of assessment with indicator values based on sufficiently large numbers are estimated to be fairly below 10 %, but can be expected to vary substantially among countries of origin, especially between Asian countries and Western countries.


Scientific migration Bibliometrics Scientific collaboration 



The authors wish to thank the useful comments made by anonymous referees.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Informetric Research Group, ElsevierAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Informetric Research Group, ElsevierNew YorkUSA

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