Handbook of quantitative science and technology research. The use of publication and patent statistics in studies on S&T systems pages:257-276
Co-authorship is one of the most tangible and well documented forms of scientific collaboration. Almost every aspect of scientific collaboration networks can be reliably tracked by analyzing co-authorship networks by bibliometric methods. In the present study, scientific collaboration is considered both at individual and national levels, with special focus given to multinational collaborations. Both literature data and original results witnessed a dramatic quantitative and structural change in the last decades of the 20th century. The changes, to great extent, can be attributed to the universal tendencies of globalisation and the political restructuring of Europe. The standards and, particularly, the visibility of scientific research, as a rule, benefit from the ever increasing level of collaboration, but the profits do not come automatically. This fact underlines the necessity of a regular quantitative monitoring of inputs and outcomes, i.e., bibliometric surveys.