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 In Focus

Researcher Mobility in Swedish Higher Education Institutions

Published 2017-01-20

Mobility is one important aspect of the internationalisation of higher education and research. When developing indicators for STINT Internationalisation Index, STINT asked Elsevier to use publication data to capture if a researcher has academic experience from abroad. Inspired by this approach, STINT worked together with Elsevier to make a more comprehensive mapping of how researchers move between higher education institutions (HEIs).

The results indicate that mobile researchers get higher citation rates and they are also more productive than the average. Among the mobility categories the so-called sedentary researchers, i.e. researchers that have only published at one HEI, get the lowest values for productivity and publication quality (field-weighted citation impact). However, they are also the youngest. In the other end of the scale are the transitory researchers who have had one or several shorter periods at different HEIs. They are the most productive ones and have the highest publication quality.

Another result is that the large HEIs typically have more international mobility than the small ones.

In the data-intensive report, brain circulation maps are given for 28 Swedish HEIs for three types of mobility; national, international and overall. The maps are based on Scopus publication data for all still active researchers who at least once have published using one of these HEIs as an affiliation during 1996-2015. The methodology is described more in detail in the report.

The study was launched at a seminar December 9th, 2016. Invited speakers were Dr. Annika Pontén (UKÄ), Prof. Eva Malmström (SUHF) and Ms. Queenie Lam-Schöch (ACA). One conclusion of the seminar was that there is a great need for improved data and methods to capture mobility and that STINT’s report is a very interesting contribution.
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