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Article

Measuring excellence in Russia: Highly cited papers, leading institutions, patterns of national and international collaboration

Pislyakov V., Elena Shukshina.

In this study, we discover Russian “centers of excellence” and explore patterns of their collaboration with each other and with foreign partners. Highly cited papers serve as a proxy for “excellence” and coauthored papers as a measure of collaborative efforts. We find that currently research institutes (of the Russian Academy of Sciences as well as others) remain the key players despite recent government initiatives to stimulate university science. The contribution of the commercial sector to high-impact research is negligible. More than 90% of Russian highly cited papers involve international collaboration, and Russian institutions often do not play a dominant role. Partnership with U.S., German, U.K., and French scientists increases markedly the probability of a Russian paper becoming highly cited. Patterns of national (“intranational”) collaboration in world-class research differ significantly across different types of organizations; the strongest ties are between three nuclear/particle physics centers. Finally, we draw a coauthorship map to visualize collaboration between Russian centers of excellence.