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PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e57176. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0057176. Epub 2013 Feb 28.

Sino-Canadian collaborations in stem cell research: a scientometric analysis.

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Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



International collaboration (IC) is essential for the advance of stem cell research, a field characterized by marked asymmetries in knowledge and capacity between nations. China is emerging as a global leader in the stem cell field. However, knowledge on the extent and characteristics of IC in stem cell science, particularly China's collaboration with developed economies, is lacking.


We provide a scientometric analysis of the China-Canada collaboration in stem cell research, placing this in the context of other leading producers in the field. We analyze stem cell research published from 2006 to 2010 from the Scopus database, using co-authored papers as a proxy for collaboration. We examine IC levels, collaboration preferences, scientific impact, the collaborating institutions in China and Canada, areas of mutual interest, and funding sources. Our analysis shows rapid global expansion of the field with 48% increase in papers from 2006 to 2010. China now ranks second globally after the United States. China has the lowest IC rate of countries examined, while Canada has one of the highest. China-Canada collaboration is rising steadily, more than doubling during 2006-2010. China-Canada collaboration enhances impact compared to papers authored solely by China-based researchers This difference remained significant even when comparing only papers published in English.


While China is increasingly courted in IC by developed countries as a partner in stem cell research, it is clear that it has reached its status in the field largely through domestic publications. Nevertheless, IC enhances the impact of stem cell research in China, and in the field in general. This study establishes an objective baseline for comparison with future studies, setting the stage for in-depth exploration of the dynamics and genesis of IC in stem cell research.

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