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Scientific collaboration as a window and a door into North Korea


The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) is one of the world’s most secretive and reclusive states. In scientometrics, even the United Nations, which compiles data from every country of the world, has been able to do little beyond counting the few scientific papers made publicly available (UNESCO 2010). The world could benefit from knowing more about North Korean science, which is quite well developed—witness all the concern about their nuclear energy and rocket launches. Here an analysis is presented of the North Korean presence in the world’s scientific literature, and of the possibilities for collaboration which offers a mechanism for positive development for their citizens and also for their neighbours.

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Support from NSF cooperative agreement ENG-0844639 is gratefully acknowledged. The opinions of the authors are not necessarily those of their employers or sponsors.

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Correspondence to Grant Lewison.

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Shelton, R.D., Lewison, G. Scientific collaboration as a window and a door into North Korea. Scientometrics 97, 3–11 (2013).

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  • North Korea
  • Universities
  • Collaboration
  • Scientific output