The paper explores the process of integration of CEE countries into the broader EU and global research landscapes in social sciences. We use bibliometric data extracted from the Scopus database for the 1996–2017 period and investigate changes between pre- and post-EU accession periods for 11 new and 4 prospective EU members, all post-socialist countries. In line with the previous literature, the descriptive statistic indicates that productivity in terms of the number of papers as well as the ratio of published papers in non-CEE vs. CEE journals has improved. The citation ratios are strongly in favor of non-CEE journals across all fields of social sciences. In general, productivity rises, while impact remains moderate with variations across scientific fields. Thus, the process of integration is in place, albeit at a slow pace.
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The European Research Area, http://ec.europa.eu/research/era/index_en.htm (accessed 5 July 2020).
Barré et al. (2013), for example, use the term Europeanisation to emphasize various types of intra-European integration and coordination.
Authors’ access to Scopus database was endorsed by Croatian Ministry of Science and Education.
This research was carried out as a part of the project ‘Research activity, collaboration and orientation in social sciences in Croatia and other post-socialist European countries (RACOSS)’, https://racoss.idi.hr/index_en.html.
Revised Field of Science and Technology (FOS) classification in the Frascati Manual. https://unstats.un.org/unsd/EconStatKB/KnowledgebaseArticle10269.aspx (accessed 7 October 2017).
It should be noted that as of 2017 a significant number of social-science journals from CEE countries have been included in Scopus, often with backward issues for several years but they are not included in our sample.
Croatia's strong position regarding the number of journals draws its roots in the 1980s when it already had larger number of journals than other Yugoslav republics, today sovereign states included in this analysis. See more in Jokić (2003).
Moed et al. (2021) analyzed comprehensively national journals of a large group of post-socialist countries but without discriminating among science fields.
SNIP was originally developed by Moed (2010).
To offset the impact of the Scopus indexing policy, one of the reviewers recommended normalizing the research productivity indicator. We undertook the exercise by calculating the “deflator” which has 1 in 1996 and reflects the growth rate of CEE Scopus journal articles. We do not present the results of this exercise because they indicate that the deflator captures—apart from the increase in the number of journals indexed in Scopus—all other factors that influence research productivity.
Basu (2010) found for a large number of countries over the period 1996–2006 that the publication output varied linearly with number of country journals indexed in bibliographic databases.
See more in Jokić et al. (2018).
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The authors would like to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments. The remaining errors are the responsibility of the authors.
This work has been supported by the Croatian Science Foundation under the project IP-09-2014-9351. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Croatian Science Foundation.
Conflict of interest
The authors have no relevant financial or non-financial interests to disclose.
The original online version of this article was revised: In the original publication coauthor Maja Jokić affiliation was incorrectly published.
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Mervar, A., Jokić, M. Core-periphery nexus in the EU social sciences: bibliometric perspective. Scientometrics 127, 5793–5817 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-022-04493-5