Measuring International Mobility of Russian Scientists: a Bibliometric Approach

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2020-64-9-53-62
M. Yurevich (,
Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, 49, Leningradskii Prosp., Moscow, 125993, Russian Federation;
Russian Research Institute of Economics, Politics and Law in Science and Technology, 20a, Dobrolyubova Str., 127254, Moscow, Russian Federation;
I. Tsapenko (,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation

Acknowledgments. The article has been supported by a grant of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR). Project no. 19-511-04002. The research is conducted within a planned research topic of the IMEMO RAN, project no. -17-117030310137-3 “Trends and Alternatives of Socioeconomic Development: the New Social Reality”.

Abstract. Traditionally, the international mobility of researchers is measured by official statistical survey or sociological research tools. Official statistical sources, although generally characterized by a fairly high degree of data reliability, cannot provide information directly about scientists who continue to work in their field, having changed their country of residence. On the contrary, sociological studies of cross-border movements of researchers reach the maximum depth of investigation, but are always affected by a limited sample size, and can hardly give a representative picture of the whole national science. The authors of the article consider an alternative method based on the analysis of bibliometric data. The observation of migration processes in science based on bibliometric information has two undeniable advantages: wide coverage and possibility of in-depth analysis of patterns of international mobility. However, this approach has its drawbacks, including focusing on the field of basic research and overlaying the framework used in the analysis of the publication database. The research accomplished proves and demonstrates the applicability and adequacy of the bibliometric approach for studying cross-border movements of Russian scientific personnel. This approach was tested on a sample of Russian scientists specializing in social sciences. The original bibliometric data was obtained from the Web of Science database. As a result, there were 969 authors of articles identified who had signs of international scientific mobility. Among these mobile researchers there were 138 who were constantly engaged in work in foreign scientific centers and who could be attributed to the Russian scientific diaspora members. Most of the identified mobile scientists represent rather global circulation of scientific personnel associated with short-term international research projects, internships abroad, etc.

Keywords: international mobility of researchers, migration of scientific personnel, circulation of researchers, social sciences, scientific diaspora, statistics, measurement, bibliometric analysis, affiliations


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For citation:
Yurevich M., Tsapenko I. Measuring International Mobility of Russian Scientists: a Bibliometric Approach. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2020, vol. 64, no. 9, pp. 53-62.

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