, Volume 118, Issue 1, pp 215–232 | Cite as

The collaboration behavior of top scientists

  • Giovanni AbramoEmail author
  • Ciriaco Andrea D’Angelo
  • Flavia Di Costa


The intention of this work is to analyze top scientists’ collaboration behavior at the “international”, “domestic extramural” and “intramural” levels, and compare it to that of their lesser performing colleagues. The field of observation consists of the entire faculty of the Italian academic system, and so the coauthorship of scientific publications by over 12,000 professors. The broader aim is to improve understanding of the causal nexus between research collaboration and performance. The analysis is thus longitudinal, over two successive five-year periods. Results show a strong increase in the propensity to collaborate at domestic level (both extramural and intramural), however this is less for scientists who remain or become top, than it is for their lower-performing colleagues. In contrast, the increase in international collaboration behavior is greater for scientists who become or remain top than it is for their peers. The increase in productivity by those who acquire top scientist status is due precisely to the greater average impact of the publications achieved in collaboration with foreign colleagues.


Co-authorship Scientometrics Research evaluation Universities Italy 


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giovanni Abramo
    • 1
  • Ciriaco Andrea D’Angelo
    • 2
  • Flavia Di Costa
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratory for Studies in Research Evaluation, Institute for System Analysis and Computer Science (IASI-CNR), National Research Council of ItalyIstituto di Analisi dei Sistemi e InformaticaRomeItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’Impresa, Laboratory for Studies in Research Evaluation (IASI-CNR)University of Rome “Tor Vergata”RomeItaly
  3. 3.Research Value S.R.L.RomeItaly

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