Scientific mobility indicators in practice: International mobility profiles at the country level



Palabras clave:

Scientific mobility, Bibliometric indicators, International mobility, Internationalization, Research policy, Web of Science.


This paper presents and describes the methodological opportunities offered by bibliometric data to produce indicators of scientific mobility. Large bibliographic datasets of disambiguated authors and their affiliations allow for the possibility of tracking the affiliation changes of scientists. Using the Web of Science as data source, we analyze the distribution of types of mobile scientists for a selection of countries. We explore the possibility of creating profiles of international mobility at the country level, and discuss potential interpretations and caveats. Five countries "”Canada, The Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, and the United States- are used as examples. These profiles enable us to characterize these countries in terms of their strongest links with other countries. This type of analysis reveals circulation among and between countries with strong policy implications. 


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Biografía del autor/a

Nicolás Robinson-Garcí­a, Universidad de Granada


Cassidy R. Sugimoto, School of Informatics and Computing Indiana University Bloomington, USA

Cassidy R. Sugimoto is associate professor and conducts research within the domain of scholarly communication and scientometrics. She has published more than 70 journal articles on this topic. Her work has been presented at numerous conferences and has received research funding from the National Science Foundation and the Sloan Foundation, among other agencies. Sugimoto is actively involved in teaching and service and has been rewarded in these areas with an Indiana University Trustees Teaching award (2014) and a national service award from the Association for Information Science and Technology (2009). She is currently President of the International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics and visiting researcher at CWTS, Leiden University.

Dakota Murray, School of Informatics and Computing Indiana University Bloomington, USA

Dakota S. Murray is a PhD Student at Indiana University Bloomington studying Informatics under the Computing, Culture, and Society Track. His research interests aim at better understanding the structure of the global enterprise of science and advocate for positive change to create a more equitable scientific ecosystem. He is advised and works as a research assistant for Dr. Cassidy Sugimoto. He has been funded by the EAGER grant sponsored by the NSF, and the IDEASc fellowship program sponsored by IMLS.

Alfredo Yegros-Yegros, Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) Leiden University, The Netherlands

Alfredo Yegros-Yegros is a researcher at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) of Leiden University in the Netherlands. His current research revolves around quantitative studies of science and technology. More specifically, the analysis of public-private research interactions and knowledge flows, the study of science-technology linkages, and the study of methods potentially able to capture societal impact of scientific research are some of his research interests. From September 2016 he is Visiting Fellow at the  Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU).

Vincent Larivière, í‰cole de bibliothéconomie et des sciences de l´information Université de Montréal, Canada

Vincent Larivière  is associate professor of information science at the í‰cole de bibliothéconomie et des sciences de l'information, l´Université de Montréal, where he teaches research methods and bibliometrics. He is also the scientific director of the í‰rudit journal platform, associate scientific director of the Observatoire des sciences et des technologies and a regular member of the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur la science et la technologie. He is also a visiting researcher at CWTS, Leiden University.

Rodrigo Costas, Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) Leiden University, The Netherlands, and DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Scientometrics and Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Rodrigo Costas is an experienced researcher in the field of information science and bibliometrics. With a PhD in library and information science obtained at the CSIC in Spain, he has been working at CWTS (Leiden University, the Netherlands) since 2009. His lines of research cover a broad scope of topics, including the development of new bibliometric. Rodrigo has recently started some novel research lines at CWTS including the study of altmetrics and the possibilities of funding acknowledgments in order to expand the analytical possibilities of scientometrics.


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Cómo citar

Robinson-Garcí­a, N., Sugimoto, C. R., Murray, D., Yegros-Yegros, A., Larivière, V., & Costas, R. (2018). Scientific mobility indicators in practice: International mobility profiles at the country level. Profesional De La información, 27(3), 511–520.



Artí­culos de investigación / Research articles