Regional development in South Korea: accounting for research area in centrality and networks


This paper provides a first-ever look at differences of centrality scores (i.e., networks) over time and across research specializations in Korea. This is a much needed development, given the variance which is effectively ignored when Science Citation Index (SCI) publications are aggregated. Three quantitative tests are provided—OLS, two sample t-tests, and unit-root tests—to establish the patterns of centrality scores across Korea over time. The unit-root test is particularly important, as it helps identify patterns of convergence in each region’s centrality scores. For all other geographic regions besides Seoul, Gyeonggi, and Daejeon, there appears to be little promise—at least in the immediate future—of being network hubs. For these top three regions, though, there is a pattern of convergence in three-quarters of all research specializations, which we attribute in part to policies in the mid- and late-1990s.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2


  1. 1.

    These figures are available upon request to the corresponding author.

  2. 2.

    Centrality scores are also continuous, which rules out the use of a Poisson model on technical grounds.

  3. 3.

    These results are available upon request to the first author.

  4. 4.

    These results (from models which omit the non-top-three group) were not included in Table 2.

  5. 5.

    These results are not presented here but are available upon request to the first author.

  6. 6.

    It certainly did much to salvage, based on Lee (2000), a failed National R&D Program in Daeduk Science Town, as Daejeon is now a major research hub in certain specializations.


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This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea, SSK (Social Science Korea) Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2010-330-B00232). Also, the authors are grateful to Min-Ho So and Young-Long Kim for their assistance.

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Correspondence to Han Woo Park.

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Shapiro, M.A., Park, H.W. Regional development in South Korea: accounting for research area in centrality and networks. Scientometrics 90, 271–287 (2012).

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  • Network analysis
  • Korean NIS
  • Centrality
  • Density
  • Fragmentation

Mathematics Subject Classification (2000)

  • 90B18
  • 68M10
  • 62G07
  • 91G70
  • 91F99
  • 62P25
  • 62J05

JEL Classification

  • C14
  • C31
  • C33
  • C65
  • D85
  • L14
  • O31
  • O32
  • O33
  • O38
  • R12