, Volume 111, Issue 1, pp 337–347 | Cite as

On the effects of the reunification on German researchers’ publication patterns

  • Antoine ArchambaultEmail author
  • Philippe Mongeon
  • Vincent Larivière


After developing independently following World War II, the research systems of East and West Germany reunited at the end of the Cold War, resulting in Westernization of East German Research institutions. Using data from the Web of Science over the 1980–2000 period, this paper analyses the effects of these political changes on the research activity of scholars from East and West Germany before and after the reunification. It shows that these groups differ in terms of levels of production, publication language, collaboration patterns and scientific impact and that, unsurprisingly, the scholarly output of the East became much more similar to that of the West after the reunification. At the level of individual researchers, analysis shows that East German researchers who had direct or indirect ties with the West prior to the 1990s were less affected by the reunification, or were perhaps quicker to adapt to this major change, than their colleagues who were more deeply rooted in the Eastern research system.


German reunification Research output East German researchers Science westernization Individual relative output Scientific impact Citation analysis Collaboration analysis Bibliometrics 



The authors would like to thank the two anonymous referees for their precise and constructive comments, as well as Rodrigo Costas from the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) for his help with the disambiguation of the Web of Science authors.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antoine Archambault
    • 1
    Email author
  • Philippe Mongeon
    • 1
  • Vincent Larivière
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.École de bibliothéconomie et des sciences de l’informationUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Observatoire des Sciences et des Technologies, Centre Interuniversitaire de Recherche sur la Science et la TechnologieUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontrealCanada

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