Networks of scientific cooperation between cities: a multiscalar analysis
D. Eckert, M. Grossetti, L. Jégou, B. Milard
Mondes Scientifiques - Labex SMS
Networks of scientific cooperation
between cities: a multiscalar analysis
Special Session: From international to global networks ?
ANR Geoscience (2010 - 2013)
Netscience (‘Networks of science’) (2013 - 2017) in
the work package ‘Monde Scientifique’ - Labex
Structuration des Mondes Sociaux (SMS)
Spatial scientometrics framework; quantitative
geography of scientific activities
Mark Jefferson, 1929
The growth of scientific collaborations is perceived as one of
the main feature of the globalization of science.
From the 1970s, bibliometric data retrieved from the Science
Citation Index (SCI) are used to measure this growth.
Usually these data are only processed at the country level.
Other research only relies on limited perimeters : the top
cited cities or European cities.
The spatial scientometrics method developed in Toulouse
University allows us to perform multiscalar analyses from
the urban area level to the world level.
To process all the publications data retrieved in
the SCI from 1999 to 2008 at the urban area level
To apply a geocoding and a counting method in
order to assign data to urban area perimeters
To use network analyses’ tools in order to unravel
the structure and the growth of the world network
of interurban collaborations
Dataset, method and results
‘To use a databasis such as the SCI only enables us to measure the relative
position of countries in the mainstream literature and to include solely the cited
part of science coming from developing countries, forming what we could call
the « world scientific community ».’ (Polanco, 1990, p. 45).
The Web of Science’s world
The Web of Science coverage in 2008. Number of journals per year per
index. Source: ISI Thomson Reuters
The annual Web of Science coverage in 2008 (the 3 main citation index)
Dataset and method
Dataset : the Science Citation Index created in1964 in Philadelphia
A set of bibliographic references issued in selected journals
More than a million publications per year between 1999 and 2010
Two step method
1. Geocode adresses of authors for each publication
2. Assign data at the urban area level
Analyze the spatial distribution of scientific activity and exchanges
between places through co-authorship data
Web visualization tool shared among all project participants to control the
results of automatic geocoding processes and delineate urban areas’
perimeters (developed in 2010 with OpenLayers)
Counting method : the case of an article co-signed by 16 authors in Paris and Toulouse
An only link :
Value = 1
Publication weight :
Paris = 0,5
Toulouse = 0,5
Whole Normalised Counting (Gauffriau et al, 2008)
The geography of contemporary
The world growth of scientific publications between 2000 and 2007
Source: SCI Exp (articles, reviews and letters); 3 year moving-average
« The myth of global science » ?
Dataset : SCI Expanded (1999-2001; 2006-2008). 7000 journals,
194 countries, 10730 urban areas
Focus: two normalized time-series to measure global trends:
1. A growing dispersion of scientific activities: toward a
deconcentration of the production at several scales
2. The growth of collaboration between places: a growth even more
significant inside national boundaries
Visualization: map of the production per urban area and
collaboration network between places through co-authorship
Map (LJ) : Evolution of the geographical dispersion of scientific publications
in Europe between 2000 and 2007 (Source: articles, reviews and letters, SCI Exp)
The growth of interurban co-authored scientific publications between 2000 and 2007.
Source: SCI Expanded (articles, reviews, letters), 3-year moving average.
The growth of international collaborations is part of the
overall growth of interurban collaborations, whether or not
they are in the same country.
For countries where
there is a growing
dispersion of scientific
the growth of interurban
collaborations is more
than between them.
Growing autonomy and
developing countries !
The partitions of the world territory
Plateau de la Justice, december 2014
Beneath the surface of the world
Clusters of countries: set of similar countries involved in frequent and
intensive scientific partnerships (Frame & Carpenter, 1979; Schubert &
Braun, 1990; Okubo et al., 1992; Glänzel & Schubert, 2005).
Objectives : To measure scientific similarity not only at the country level
but also at the city level (Louvain, VoS and OSLOM methods)
Co-authorship between cities = from 31% to 35% of the world production
between 2000 and 2007 (SCI Exp)
What are the preferential channels of collaboration for scientists
according to their location in the world?
Are the macro-regional areas detected in 2000 still structuring in 2007?
The European Research area and other macro-regional areas.
Low resolution clustering result
The clustering of the scientific network of collaborations between urban areas in 2007
using the VoS Clustering method (Waltman et van Eck, adapted from the Louvain method)
This interactive map can be explored on the web site Coscimo.net
Developed with Laurent Jégou
Dendrogram plot of a community detection. The Louvain method is applied step by step to the
interurban network of scientific collaborations in 2007.
Multidimensional map of european cities and cities under the influence of Europe according to the
intensity of their scientific collaborations = similarity index (Source : SCI Expanded)
Focus on the European Research Area
Stability despite world dynamics: integration of new production spaces
Multidimensional map of countries derived from the world network of scientific collaborations in
2000 (SCI Expanded)
The evolution of the scientific collaborations’ distribution among macro-regional research areas
(2000-2007). Increase of the share of intra-national and intra-cluster linkages.
European Research Area 2000* 2007* Russian world 2000* 2007*
Intra national links (%) 34,5 35,6 Intra national links (%) 17,2 26,5
Intra european links (%) 26,8 26,4 Intra russian links (%) 2,0 1,9
External links** (%) 38,7 38,0 External links** (%) 80,8 71,6
100 100 100 100
Number of publications 122994 186408 Number of publications 8917 12207
North America 2000* 2007* Australasian world 2000* 2007*
Intra national links (%) 51,9 50,6 Intra national links (%) 20,1 19,7
Intro north am. links (%) 4,1 4,1 Intra australasian links (%) 4,7 5,1
External links** (%) 44,0 45,3 External links** (%) 75,2 75,2
100 100 100 100
Number of publications 98043 147374 Number of publications 10201 20182
Asian world 2000* 2007* Arab world 2000* 2007*
Intra national links (%) 55,2 57,0 Intra national links (%) 11,2 14,5
Intra asian links (%) 4,5 5,2 Intra arab links (%) 5,8 7,0
External links** (%) 40,3 37,8 External links** (%) 83,1 78,5
100 100 100 100
Number of publications 43634 89710 Number of publications 2687 5705
South America 2000* 2007* Sub-saharan Africa 2000* 2007*
Intra national links (%) 27,5 38,5 Intra national links (%) 14,9 16,2
Intra south am. links (%) 5,9 5,2 Intra s.-saharan af. links (%) 3,7 5,4
External links** (%) 66,6 56,3 External links** (%) 81,4 78,4
100 100 100 100
Number of publications 9458 18530 Number of publications 2652 5089
*Whole normalized counting (WNC ), 3-year moving average. Source: SCI Expanded (articles, reviews and letters)
**External links: links with the rest of the world
Map of the evolution of scientific collaborations between macro-regional collaboration area
’’Domestic and South-South
research capacities play an increasing
role in developing country and emerging
economy innovation systems as they
(Ponomariov & Toivanen, 2014).
Community detection methods
Scientists are working in organized territories. National frameworks did
not tend to regress or disappear between 2000 and 2007, the reverse is
The multiplicity of attachment logics and organizational levels difficult
to delineate cohesive areas from the distribution of collaborations
Make the resolution parameter varied
Test the evolving integration of spaces using previously known perimeters (for
instance the European Research Area perimeter)
Using overlapping community detection methods. E.g. the OSLOM method
(Lancichinetti, Radicchi, Ramasco, & Fortunato, 2011).
Applied on the co-authorship matrix of cities, OSLOM enabled us to detect
clusters such as : the Netherlands, Scotland, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe….
Conclusion : the concept of
community in the contemporary
The concept of scientific world
‘And since the intellectual world, the realm of abstract symbols
having universal application, cuts across the material world on
which nations are built, it is inevitable that a strong allegiance to
the former entails a tendency to ignore the latter.’ Norman
This plurality of worlds is not external to actors that
shape and experience it : there is no external "structure"
in which scientific activity is deploying.
Scientific activity does not develop in an universal space,
an absolute spatial reference. Each time, scientific
activity create its own geography, sets a world, as it is
the product of a combination of worlds.
The concept of community
From ‘the scientific community’ (Polanyi, Hagstrom…) = an
unified, pacific and flat world
To scientific communities with a unifying interest or project
depending on :
A territorial membership: the developing of national scientific
communities (ex: Vessuri)
A scientific membership: the developing of epistemic
communities (ex: Roth)
Future lines of research
In a globalization context for science, multiscalar approaches
World-wide access to transportation, information, and
communication technologies, as well as collaborative research
policies make necessary to better address the structures and
dynamics of collaborative networks
Our work invites to consider how these scales are organized,
to explore territories, regions and borders that underlie macro-
regional scientific areas