Studying scientific migration in Scopus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


An exploration is presented of Scopus as a data source for the study of international scientific migration or mobility for five study countries: Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, UK and USA. It is argued that Scopus author-affiliation linking and author profiling are valuable, crucial tools in the study of this phenomenon. It was found that the UK has the largest degree of outward international migration, followed by The Netherlands, and the USA the lowest. Language similarity between countries is a more important factor in international migration than it is in international co-authorship. During 1999-2010 the Netherlands showed a positive "migration balance" with the UK and a negative one with Germany, suggesting that in the Netherlands there were more Ph. D. students from Germany than there were from the UK, or that for Dutch post docs stage periods in the UK were more attractive than those in Germany. Comparison of bibliometric indicators with OECD statistics provided evidence that differences exist in the way the various study countries measured their number of researchers. The authors conclude that a bibliometric study of scientific migration using Scopus is feasible and provides significant outcomes. They make suggestions for further research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)929-942
Number of pages14
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Author profiling
  • Author-affiliation links
  • Brain circulation
  • OECD input statistics
  • Scientific migration
  • Scopus


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