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International Collaboration in Higher Education Research: a Gravity Model Approach

Geographical distance has become less relevant in co-authorship for monodisciplinary research fields such as economics, mathematics, physics. Multidisciplinary fields are influenced by the norms and traditions of other fields. Higher education is a multidisciplinary field of research in which multiple communities operate under different norms and paradigms. We study collaboration patterns in higher education research across different world regions using the Scopus database with the application of the gravity model. Our results show that international collaboration has intensified and increased rapidly in the last two decades. We confirm that the intensity of collaboration is dependent on geographical distance and linguistic commonality. The importance of geographical proximity differs significantly between various world regions. EU scholars appear to give preference to linguistic proximate partners over geographical neighbors. Despite the fact that English is the lingua franca in science, language is not a significant factor for the formation of collaboration for North American researchers. This study contributes to the current discussion on the importance of international collaboration in science, paying special attention to the growing public interest in multidisciplinary research.