Scientific Mobility Analysis and Implications to University's Internationalization Agenda

Sunday, February 14, 2016
Jane Payumo, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
This case study is a first attempt to map trends and patterns of researcher mobility at the institutional level. Focused on Washington State University (WSU) and using 2002-2012 bibliometric data extracted from Elsevier’s Scopus, we investigated the dynamics, characteristics, and geographic mobility of different types of university-affiliated researchers in advancing research careers, networks and international collaborations. We characterized scientific mobility using a brain circulation model and linked trends to institutional research productivity and scientific performance using three indicators, relative productivity, seniority and field weighted citation impact (FWCI) of their publications. Researchers were grouped into four categories based on common patterns of movement: inflow, outflow, transitory and sedentary.  Non-local, transitory researchers (primarily visiting scholars) were more productive (relative productivity = 1.45) while inflow researchers had the highest impact output (FWCI = 1.67) than any other group. Our findings have potential implications for institutional policies of U.S. universities in promoting internationalization and research collaborations.