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Picture post: world map of scientific collaboration

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This gossamer image of scientific collaboration displays connections between cities 2005-09, based on shared authorship of research papers in Elsevier’s Scopus database.

The map was created by Olivier H. Beauchesne, who works for Science-Metrix, a consulting firm that uses bibliographic data to measure the growth of science publications around the world. Beauchesne explains more about how he made the image (and links to high-resolution versions) on his blog. Hat-tip for this and smaller images: Flowing Data.

resizeCollaboration-in-Europe-575x470.jpgMany analyses in recent years – including reports from the National Science Foundation, UNESCO – have remarked on how science is entering an era of increasing international collaboration. Each measures this in a different way, but I’ve not seen a visualization as striking as Beauchesne’s chart (though it presents only a static picture).

Beauchesne has also chosen to focus on joining up connections between cities, which are being thought of as a new – though hard to measure – unit of scientific collaboration. Last year, a Nature feature ‘Building the best cities for science’ explored this theme, including interactive graphics (based on the same Scopus database) showing how cities’ research publications and their impact have changed over time. resizeUnited-States-collaboration1-575x284.jpg

For those interested in looking at how scientists are connected geographically, a number of companies already promise to help map the geographic reach of an individual or a discipline. These include Springer’s AuthorMapper, Transinsight’s GoPubMed and BioMedExperts.

Image credit: Olivier H. Beauchesne/Science-Metrix/Elsevier


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