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Characteristics of research collaboration in biotechnology in China: evidence from publications indexed in the SCIE


This study draws on biotechnology publications by Chinese scientists indexed in the Science Citation Index Expanded from 1991 to 2014, using bibliometric and statistical methods to investigate the characteristics of research collaboration. A series of rules and statistical methods are applied jointly for data cleaning to ensure data accuracy. The major findings are following: Firstly, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University, Fudan University and China Agricultural University are the top 5 active research institutions in the field of biotechnology. Secondly, the collaboration pattern indicates that Chinese academic institutions are more focused into building national collaboration and tapping national expertise. Thirdly, both national and international collaboration degrees in this field are improving constantly. Tsinghua University keeps a stable growth trend in terms of international collaboration. Fourthly, Chinese academic institutions have extensive collaboration in various fields in biotechnology. National collaboration focuses more on the application fields of biotechnology. Bioinformatics-related subjects attach greater importance to international collaboration. Finally, we discuss the reasons of the above collaboration characteristics and the implications of this study for China’s research management.

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This work was financially supported by the Chinese Universities Scientific Fund (2015tc004). The authors would like to thank the reviewers of this article for making many valuable suggestions and thoughtful comments. Besides, we thank Professor Wu Yishan for his valuable feedback.

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Correspondence to Yong Zhao.

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Zhao, Y., Li, D., Han, M. et al. Characteristics of research collaboration in biotechnology in China: evidence from publications indexed in the SCIE. Scientometrics 107, 1373–1387 (2016).

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  • Biotechnology
  • Research collaboration
  • Characteristics
  • China
  • Bibliometric methods