The social capital of global ties in science: The added value of international collaboration

Julia Melkers, Agrita Kiopa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


The globalization of science is demonstrated in the mobility of scientists across national boundaries, the composition of the U.S. scientific workforce, and increased collaboration across national boundaries. While studies based on bibliometric and other data have been useful in identifying trends, collaborative clusters, and other patterns in international collaboration, they do not reveal the social dynamics behind those collaborations. This paper addresses the human and social capital factors that explain whether or not an academic researcher in science and engineering has an international collaborator. Further, through detailed statistical models, the analysis also addresses the factors that differentiate the specific resources derived from those international ties. Results show that non-U.S. citizens are more likely to have close international collaborators, but that a range of factors explain this relationship. Further, results show that U.S. academic faculty mobilize different collaborative resources from international collaborators, versus their domestic collaborators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-414
Number of pages26
JournalReview of Policy Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Globalization
  • Mobility
  • Science
  • Scientific collaboration
  • Social capital
  • Social networks

Field of Science*

  • 5.9 Other social sciences

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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