The Globalization of European Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities (1980–2014): A Bibliometric Study

  • Johan Heilbron
  • Yves Gingras
Part of the Socio-Historical Studies of the Social and Human Sciences book series (SHSSHS)


On the basis of bibliometric data, this chapter shows that international collaboration in the social sciences and humanities has increased strongly between 1980 and 2014, but that the pattern of exchange has known few structural changes. At the basic level of production capacity and article output, the global field of the SSH is best described as a Euro-American duopoly. At the higher level of co-authorships and citations, however, the field structure tends to be monopolistic: no language can compete with English, no country can rival with the USA. Globalization effects (the extension of collaboration and exchange on a world scale) have been relatively weak, and the growth of transnational exchange has reproduced rather than undermined existing hierarchies. Due to its hegemonic position, USA journals remain largely national in their authorship and references, and researchers in the USA are less frequently involved in transnational co-authorship than their colleagues in Europe. For European researchers, transnational collaboration has become somewhat more global in scope, but most of it has remained with the USA and other English speaking countries; China is the only country that has become significantly more important. In European countries the reference pattern indicates that bi-nationalism is the predominant form of transnational exchange: citation hierarchies are dominated by a combination of national and American journals, whereas international and European journals are virtually absent. Patterns of transnational collaboration and exchange thus tend to be structured like star networks with many relations to the center, less frequent relations among semi-central countries, and infrequent or absent relations among semi-peripheral and peripheral countries.


Bibliometrics Globalization Transnational regionalization Transnational co-authorship Core-periphery structure Field of the social sciences and humanities (– global, – European) English (as lingua franca) Duopoly (or duopolistic structure) Humanities (as compared to the social sciences) Economics (as a discipline) Law (as a discipline) Sociology (as a discipline) China (see also hegemony) Domination (see also hegemony) Hegemony (see also domination) Centrality (see also core-periphery structure) 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johan Heilbron
    • 1
  • Yves Gingras
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre Européen de Sociologie et de Science Politique (CESSP)CNRS – EHESS – Université Paris 1-Panthéon-SorbonneParisFrance
  2. 2.Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur la science et la technologie (CIRST), Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)MontréalCanada

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