Researchers who change country produce more influential work

SCIENCE is an international affair. Researchers from different countries frequently collaborate with each other, a process made ever easier by the rise of electronic communications. Sometimes, they actually change country to do so. Marie Curie moved from Poland to France. Guglielmo Marconi moved from Italy to Britain. Nikola Tesla moved from Austria-Hungary to America.

Those are famous historical examples, but these days such migration is commonplace. Presumably, all the gadding about leads to better research. But scientists do not like to work on presumption, so two studies published in Nature this week have tested the idea. Both conclude that yes, it probably does.

Cassidy Sugimoto of Indiana University, in Bloomington, and her colleagues looked at papers listed in “Web of Science”, a database that tracks how often an article is cited by another. They restricted their analysis to studies published between 2008 (the first year…Continue reading

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