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Despite political turmoil, international collaboration continues to flourish

Latest Nature Index supplement shows US-China research collaborations to be stronger than ever, while UK-EU collaborations stall

London | Sydney | New York – WEBWIRE

The number of articles tracked by the Nature Index that were co-authored by Chinese and US researchers increased from 3,413 in 2015 to 4,631 in 2018. Data from the Nature Index also showed that Chinese authors collaborated with researchers in the US more often than any other region. 

In contrast, the growth in collaborative articles between UK and EU researchers has stagnated since 2016, although collaborative articles in five leading journals (NatureSciencePNASNature Communications and Science Advances) grew by 36 percent between 2015 and 2018. The backdrop to these results and their implications are discussed in detail in the Nature Index supplement: Collaboration and big science. 

In addition to data describing collaboration between countries, the latest Nature Index supplement shows how publications with thousands of authors are becoming more common. This is especially true in fields where big science projects are common, such as high-energy physics, genetics and oncology. The Nature Index data show that institutions in the US and Europe publish the largest number of multiple-author papers in these fields. 

David Swinbanks, Founder of the Nature Index, said: “The fact that collaborative research continues to expand – between regions and countries with fraught political relationships – demonstrates how a collaborative approach in research is now a necessity in order to pursue pressing and global projects. Without teams with an interdisciplinary skill set and diverse perspective, it is simply not possible to tackle the increasingly complex challenges of our time.”

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