Evolutionary convergence of the patterns of international research collaborations across scientific fields

Lili Wang & Mario Coccia


Frame and Carpenter (1979) analysed the pattern of international research collaboration among scientific fields in 1970s. Starting from this pioneering work, this paper investigates international collaborations over 1997-2012 and compares the critical results with earlier studies to detect the evolution of collaboration patterns in different scientific fields. Empirical analysis supports two vital findings, given by: a) a relatively stable structure of international research collaborations over time across different scientific fields; b) a convergent process of collaboration patterns between theoretical and applied research fields. One important deter-minant of the latter result might be due to the increasing interdisciplinary nature of research fields that supports the convergence between basic and applied sciences.

Keywords: Scientific Fields, Research Collaboration, Science Evolution, Co-authorship, Co-publishing, Interdisciplinary, Convergence.

JEL Classification: O31; O39; O10; N00; N31; N33

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