Globalization and De-Globalization in Nanotechnology Research: The Role of China

Scientometrics, Vol. 93(2), pp. 439-458, 2012

21 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2015  

Aashish Mehta

University of California, Santa Barbara

Patrick Herron

Duke University

Yasuyuki Motoyama

University of Kansas - Geography & Atmospheric Science Department

Richard Appelbaum

University of California, Santa Barbara

Timothy Lenoir

Duke University

Date Written: October 15, 2011

Abstract

The share of nanotechnology publications involving authors from more than one country more than doubled in the 1990s, but then fell again till 2004, before recovering somewhat during the latter years of the decade. Meanwhile, the share of nanotechnology papers involving at least one Chinese author increased substantially over the last two decades. Papers involving Chinese authors are far less likely to be internationally co-authored than papers involving authors from other countries. Nonetheless, this appears to be changing as Chinese nanotechnology research becomes more advanced. An arithmetic decomposition confirms that China’s growing share of such research in large part accounts for the observed stagnation of international collaboration. Thus two aspects of the globalization of science can work in opposing directions: diffusion to initially less scientifically advanced countries can depress international collaboration rates, while at the same time scientific advances in such countries can reverse this trend. This paper draws on Stichweh’s (1996) original paper on international scientific collaboration, which, in examining the interrelated development of national and international scientific networks, predicts a transitional phase during which science becomes a more national enterprise, followed by a phase marked by accelerating international collaboration. Validating the application of this approach, we show that Stichweh’s predictions, based on European scientific communities in the 18th and 19th centuries, seem to apply to the Chinese scientific community in the 21st century.

Keywords: international collaboration, diffusion, interconnectedness, nanotechnology, China, indigenous innovation

JEL Classification: O33, O38, O31

Suggested Citation

Mehta, Aashish and Herron, Patrick and Motoyama, Yasuyuki and Appelbaum, Richard and Lenoir, Timothy, Globalization and De-Globalization in Nanotechnology Research: The Role of China (October 15, 2011). Scientometrics, Vol. 93(2), pp. 439-458, 2012 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2637636

Aashish Sunil Mehta (Contact Author)

University of California, Santa Barbara ( email )

Santa Barbara, CA 93106
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.global.ucsb.edu/people/aashish-mehta

Patrick James Herron

Duke University ( email )

Information Science + Studies
Smith Whse Bay 11-A241, 114 S. Buchanan Blvd.
Durham, NC NC 27708-0766
United States
9196680276 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://jenkins.duke.edu/patrick.php

Yasuyuki Motoyama

University of Kansas - Geography & Atmospheric Science Department ( email )

1475 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045
United States

Richard Appelbaum

University of California, Santa Barbara ( email )

Santa Barbara, CA 93106
United States

Timothy Lenoir

Duke University ( email )

100 Fuqua Drive
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

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