A majority of international branch campuses (IBCs) have been established during the last two decades, with China, Malaysia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates being the countries hosting the largest numbers. IBCs are often considered education providers within the host country; but there has been ongoing debate about their role as contributors to the scientific wealth of the host country. This study develops a methodology to investigate the research activity at branch campuses based on their publications. The main methodological challenge was to identify publications from these entities, as they are often not indexed and visible in the publication databases. This was solved through a search query extracting publications with affiliation data including the host country or city for the branch campus as well as the name of the institution. Using the publication sets for each research active IBC, the study illustrates not only that they are increasingly active in research, but also how their publication quality and collaboration patterns relate to their host country as well as to their home institution. The results also indicate that IBCs appear to have a role in the academic research development of some hosting countries; Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia.
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Pohl, H., Lane, J.E. Research contributions of international branch campuses to the scientific wealth of academically developing countries. Scientometrics 116, 1719–1734 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-018-2790-y