The academic world is developing rapidly with many new countries becoming significant contributors to research. One important strategic issue is to ensure that the collaboration network develops at least in the same pace as the academic world is developing. This study proposes a new method to compare countries’ growth in research, thus highlighting that Indonesia, Iran and Pakistan are the countries with the highest growth among all countries with more than 10,000 Scopus publications in 2018. A new indicator for collaboration intensity is also proposed, which makes it easy to check to what extent the collaboration pattern incorporates countries with rapid growth. Using Sweden and Indonesia as examples, the study shows differences on national level as well as between different scientific disciplines. Whereas Sweden’s collaboration is very much focusing on other mature research countries with low growth, Indonesia’s collaboration is including other countries with rapid growth. In terms of policy, the study and the proposed methodology support better-informed strategy decisions as regards the prioritisation of countries for research collaboration. It argues that there is a need for strategies and policy support at different levels, if a more balanced mix of research collaboration is to be obtained. To manage rapid changes, it might be necessary to shift from a mainly reactive development of the collaborations to a more proactive one that fosters links to the rapidly developing research countries.
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The author would like to thank two anonymous reviewers for valuable comments and suggestions.
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Pohl, H. Collaboration with countries with rapidly growing research: supporting proactive development of international research collaboration. Scientometrics 122, 287–307 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-019-03287-6