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Abstract  

This paper investigates factors behind co-authorships between scientists in Iran and elsewhere. It also compares the Iranian pattern of collaboration with other countries. A questionnaire was sent out to Iranian scientists in fields of physics, chemistry, and biology who had published an internationally co-authored journal article during 2003. The results show that not all co-authored articles were the result of a collaborative project. Also, the main collaborative motives behind the co-authorships were identified and described. Among these, we could mention sharing laboratory devices, accessing knowledge, and increased efficiency of the study at hand. It is clear that emigrated Iranian scientists play an important role as collaborators and probably also as links to the international scientific community as a whole. Cultural factors mix with scientific and work related ones. Although the proportion of international co-authorships is lower than in most other countries, the collaborative pattern seems rather similar.

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Scientometrics
Authors: Morteza Mehrdad, Akbar Heydari, Mohammad Sarbolouki, and Shapour Etemad

Abstract  

The population of Iran has nearly doubled in less than 25 years, while the number of university students has increased more than 10 times and 720 Ph. D. degrees have been awarded in basic science in the past 10 years. Despite the great difficulties that the Iranian scientists have been facing for more than two decades (as a consequence of a social revolution, 8 years of a destructive war imposed by Iraq, excessive brain drain, discriminatory practices by some international journals in publishing the Iranian articles, and unfair sanctions imposed by the industrialized countries) Iran's science is still thriving and the current number of yearly scientific publications exceeds 1500. When normalized with respect to the number of researchers and the research budget, the Iranian scientists seem to outperform most of their counterparts in the advanced industrialized nations. Main reason: total engagement in truncated research activities (basic or applied) leading solely to pure publications; lack of infrastructure for developmental research activities leading to new technologies. The average impact factor of the papers in various fields of basic science seems quite satisfactory considering the difficult conditions the Iranian scientists are working under. Should the research budgets and conditions improve and the unfair sanctions currently imposed by the world politics be eliminated, a far better contribution to the world science can be expected.

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