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Joint Papers With U.S. and Israeli Authors Increase

December 7, 2016
 
 

The number of co-authored scientific publications involving American and Israeli researchers increased by 45 percent over 10 years, from 3,439 joint U.S.-Israel publications in 2006 to 4,979 publications in 2015, according to an analysis of the SciVal and Scopus databases conducted by researchers at the Samuel Neaman Institute for National Policy Research at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. During that same time period, the total number of joint publications involving American and international authors increased by 69 percent.

The top five fields for U.S.-Israel collaboration, per the chart below, were medicine; physics and astronomy; biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology; computer science; and mathematics.

The report, “U.S.-Israel Academic Collaboration,” was commissioned by the Israel on Campus Coalition, which promotes pro-Israel views on American campuses. “This landmark report shows that the relationship between American and Israeli universities is stronger than ever,” Jacob Baime, the executive director of the Israel on Campus Coalition, said in a statement. “At a time when Israel’s detractors are calling for academic boycotts across the nation, the faculty have been undeterred in their work to solve some of the world’s most intractable problems through their important research.”

Daphne Getz, the lead author of the study and a senior research fellow at the Samuel Neaman Institute, said that although researchers “didn’t investigate the specific question of the impact of BDS [the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement] on scientific collaboration between U.S. and Israeli researchers, the continued and steady increases year after year suggest that the academic boycotts have not had a noticeable impact on these collaborations.” Asked about the slower rate of growth for American-Israeli joint publications compared to all international joint publications involving U.S. authors during the 10-year period -- 45 versus 69 percent -- Getz gave two reasons for the gap.

“First, the increase in total U.S. joint international publications from 2006 to 2015 is highly influenced by the very large increase in joint U.S.-China joint publications, a growth of approximately 350 percent,” she said. “If we examined U.S. joint international publications without China in the relevant period, we would have seen that the growth rate of U.S.-Israel joint publications is much closer to the total growth rate of U.S. joint international publications.”

“Second,” Getz added, “it is important to note that Israel is a relatively small country, with a limited number of researchers. The growth rate of U.S.-Israel joint publications exceeded the growth rate of all Israeli publications in the relevant period.”

 
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