Abstract

This study investigates the scientific mobility and international collaboration networks in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region between 2008 and 2017. By using affiliation metadata available in scientific publications, we analyze international scientific mobility flows and collaboration linkages. Three complementary approaches allow us to obtain a detailed characterization of scientific mobility. First, we uncover the main destinations and origins of mobile scholars for each country. Results reveal geographical, cultural and historical proximities. Cooperation programs also contribute to explain some of the observed flows. Second, we use the academic age. The average academic age of migrant scholars in MENA was about 12.4 years. The academic age group 6–10 years is the most common for both emigrant and immigrant scholars. Immigrants are relatively younger than emigrants, except for Iran, Palestine, Lebanon, and Turkey. Scholars who migrated to Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Jordan, and Morocco were on average younger than emigrants by 1.5 years from the same countries. Third, we analyze gender differences. We observe a clear gender gap: Male scholars represent the largest group of migrants in MENA. We conclude by discussing the policy relevance of the scientific mobility and collaboration aspects.

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