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PLOS ONE  2013 

Globalization of Stem Cell Science: An Examination of Current and Past Collaborative Research Networks

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0073598

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Science and engineering research has becoming an increasingly international phenomenon. Traditional bibliometric studies have not captured the evolution of collaborative partnerships between countries, particularly in emerging technologies such as stem cell science, in which an immense amount of investment has been made in the past decade. Analyzing over 2,800 articles from the top journals that include stem cell research in their publications, this study demonstrates the globalization of stem cell science. From 2000 to 2010, international collaborations increased from 20.9% to 36% of all stem cell publications analyzed. The United States remains the most prolific and the most dominant country in the field in terms of publications in high impact journals. But Asian countries, particularly China are steadily gaining ground. Exhibiting the largest relative growth, the percent of Chinese-authored stem cell papers grew more than ten-fold, while the percent of Chinese-authored international papers increased over seven times from 2000 to 2010. And while the percent of total stem cell publications exhibited modest growth for European countries, the percent of international publications increased more substantially, particularly in the United Kingdom. Overall, the data indicated that traditional networks of collaboration extant in 2000 still predominate in stem cell science. Although more nations are becoming involved in international collaborations and undertaking stem cell research, many of these efforts, with the exception of those in certain Asian countries, have yet to translate into publications in high impact journals.


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