Proximity Dimensions and Scientific Collaboration among Academic Institutions in Europe: The Closer, the Better?
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SourceFernández, A., Ferrándiz, E., & León, M. D. (2016). Proximity dimensions and scientific collaboration among academic institutions in Europe: The closer, the better?. Scientometrics, 106 (3), pp. 1073-1092.
The main objective of this paper is to examine the effect of various proximity dimensions (geographical, cognitive, institutional, organizational, social and economic) on academic scientific collaborations (SC). The data to capture SC consists of a set of co-authored articles published between 2006 and 2010 by universities located in EU-15, indexed by the Science Citation Index (SCI Expanded) of the ISI Web of Science database. We link this data to institution-level information provided by the EUMIDA dataset. Our final sample consists of 240,495 co-authored articles from 690 European universities that featured in both datasets. Additionally, we also retrieved data on regional R&D funding from Eurostat. Based on the gravital equation, we estimate several econometrics models using aggregated data from all disciplines as well as separated data for Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, Life Sciences and Physics & Astronomy. Our results provide evidence on the substantial role of geographical, cognitive, institutional, social and economic distance in shaping scientific collaboration, while the effect of organizational proximity seems to be weaker. Some differences on the relevance of these factors arise at discipline level.