Core-periphery relations in international research collaboration
The paper investigates core-periphery relations in the network of international scientific collaboration. We hypothesise that benefits from collaboration depend, ceteris paribus, on roles played by collaborators in the given collaboration. To capture the impact of various roles, we compare mean citation of collaborative papers in which authors from different countries perform a leading or a complementary role. The leading role can be attributed to scientists indicated as corresponding authors, while non-corresponding authors can be seen as complementary partners. Thus, we compare mean citations of internationally co-authored papers in which scholars affiliated in particular countries are either corresponding authors (“corresponding author paper”) or non-corresponding authors (“non-corresponding author paper”). The analysis is based on Web of Science data covering the period 2000-2013. The results of the study suggest that core countries seem to benefit most from international cooperation when they lead the research (i.e. when they play the role of a corresponding author), while peripheral countries benefit most from being led (i.e. when they play the role of a non-corresponding author). This can suggest that increasing international collaboration in science strengthens persistence of the global distribution of research excellence embedded in long-term historical processes.