How have the Eastern European countries of the former Warsaw Pact developed since 1990? A bibliometric study

Marcin Kozak, Lutz Bornmann, Loet Leydesdorff

Did the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991 influence the scientific performance of the researchers in Eastern European countries? Did this historical event affect international collaboration by researchers from the Eastern European countries with those of Western countries? Did it also change international collaboration among researchers from the Eastern European countries? Trying to answer these questions, this study aims to shed light on international collaboration by researchers from the Eastern European countries (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia). The number of publications and normalized citation impact values are compared for these countries based on InCites (Thomson Reuters), from 1981 up to 2011. The international collaboration by researchers affiliated to institutions in Eastern European countries at the time points of 1990, 2000 and 2011 was studied with the help of Pajek and VOSviewer software, based on data from the Science Citation Index (Thomson Reuters). Our results show that the breakdown of the communist regime did not lead, on average, to a huge improvement in the publication performance of the Eastern European countries and that the increase in international co-authorship relations by the researchers affiliated to institutions in these countries was smaller than expected. Most of the Eastern European countries are still subject to changes and are still awaiting their boost in scientific development.

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