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Bibliometric observation of a melting-like transition in the cooperation behaviour of scientists within former Yugoslavia

: John, M.; Fritsche, F.; Reschke, S.

Verhandlungen der Deutschen Physikalischen Gesellschaft 46 (2011), No.1, pp.505
ISSN: 0420-0195
ISSN: 0372-5448
Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG Jahrestagung) <75, 2011, Dresden>
Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG Frühjahrstagung) <2011, Dresden>
Fraunhofer INT ()
science of science; gravity model of cooperation; scientific cooperation; bibliometrics

It is generally accepted that scientific work and scientific cooperation are sensitive to the societal and economic environment. But how exactly are they affected by the outbreak of social, economic or ethnic crises? To elucidate this question we have analysed the publication and cooperation behaviour of scientists in former Yugoslavia by means of a bibliometric approach treating the last 30 years. In most cases a simple gravity model describes the strength of cooperation between two republics reasonably well. We observe that this strength decreases significantly with the outbreak of ethnic conflicts at the beginning of the 1990s. Surprisingly, the state before the crisis is not restored after the conflicts have come to an end. Instead, the observerd cooperation system remains in a less strongly bound state. We conjecture that this is not due to continuing animosity between the republics, but that partners who have broken up their cooperation in the course of the crisis orientated themselves towards new cooperation partners. Thus there seems to be no need to restore the historic cooperation network after the end of the civil wars. We want to clarify this point by using techniques derived from network analysis.