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Characteristics of international collaboration in sport sciences publications and its influence on citation impact

Abstract

Some bibliometric research has been carried out in sport sciences, but compared with other disciplines there is still no intensive study at macro level, especially on international collaboration. This study attempts to observe the status and trend of international collaboration in sport sciences at macro level, and to look at its relationship with academic impact. 20,804 publications from 63 consistently issued journals belonging to the Sport Sciences category in Web of Science database in 2000–2001 and 2010–2011 were analyzed. The main objects include co-authorship links of country pairs, the share of international co-authored publications, tendency and “affinity” in collaboration, and citation impact of international publications. Differences between countries and periods were observed. There is a rapid increase of the share of international collaboration in sport sciences. In some countries the share is even above 2/3; Co-authorship networks imply some cultural, political or geographical factors for collaboration, and their changes exhibit some new trends; Selected countries have strong tendency in collaboration; International collaborated publications have a higher performance than domestic ones in citation impact. But gaps between countries are narrowing. International collaboration really intensified in this field. European, especially Nordic countries are very fond of collaboration and have gained outstanding performance as a partner. It is meaningful to further explore the underlying motivation behind international collaboration in sport science research.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Wouter Jeuris and Mehmet Ali Abdulhayoglu, colleagues at ECOOM of KU Leuven for their assistance in preparing the data.

Funding

Support for this study was received from Shanghai University of Sport, Ph.D. Academic Visiting Program (shtyfx20130111).

Author information

Correspondence to Wolfgang Glänzel.

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Wang, L., Thijs, B. & Glänzel, W. Characteristics of international collaboration in sport sciences publications and its influence on citation impact. Scientometrics 105, 843–862 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-015-1735-y

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Keywords

  • Research collaboration
  • Citation impact
  • Sport sciences