International Collaboration at the European Championship

Prior to the onset of the European Championship, first known as the European Nationals Cup, there were few successful cross-country football challenges. Designed as a way to increase the popularity of the sport as well as improve the level of play across Europe by showcasing top talent, the UEFA European Championship was first proposed by Henri Delaunay in 1927 for a pan-European football championship and came into fruition in 1960. In its almost 60th year of existence, the Euros have grown from four nations participating to now 52 national teams.

In academia, while there’s no official pan-continent or global championship (although we could consider the Nobel Prize to be one of sorts), we still see the same trend: the need to improve the level of research by collaborating with others. With the first game kicking off tomorrow with France and Romania, take a look at how Group A has collaborated with other countries academically. Using InCitesTM, we can measure the level at which one country collaborates with others.Group-A-Percentage-of-International-Collaborations

Looking at Group A, we see that of the four nations, Switzerland collaborates the most frequently, based on the number of publications that have been identified with at least two different countries among the affiliations of the co-authors.

We can dive deeper into the data, drilling into which of the countries Switzerland is collaborating with most frequently.Collaborations-with-Switzerland

International collaborations are considered to be a way to develop and disseminate scientific knowledge and a driver of scientific impact (number of citations). Internationally co-authored documents gain more visibility in the global scientific community and tend to receive more citations.

On the pitch, much like in the library or lab, we are still seeing a level of cross-country knowledge sharing, with a number of national team members playing full-time in different countries.

Examining the direction of Switzerland’s international collaboration clearly demonstrates that the Swiss aim most frequently at Clinical Medicine.

Will this shot let them score? Yes! According to Category Normalized Citation Impact, they are much more accurate in this direction than other teams in the group!marcin euros 2

The Swiss National Team has 78% of its players playing in full-time leagues outside of Switzerland. It’s not surprising to see that of the countries the National Players play in, four of the five are in the top 5 collaborating countries.switzerland national team

In comparison, if we take a look at Group E, as a whole, we see slightly less in International Collaborations, a trend we see following through in their player breakdown.Group-E-Percentage-of-International-Collaborations

Italy and the Republic of Ireland may be the exceptions rather than the rule, as we see a fair number of play within other countries from Sweden and Belgium. Looking back at InCites, we see that when compared to Italy and the Republic of Ireland, Sweden and Belgium both collaborate more frequently.

Looking at the Italian National Team, only five of their players play in leagues outside of Italy, while the Republic of Ireland has all but one player playing in the neighboring English leagues. (The latter could still count as international collaboration at the country level but is nevertheless considered to be within the United Kingdom.)

italy national team

Whether in research or on the field, it’s clear that international collaboration is alive and well, driving benefits in further advancing science and football. We are looking forward to a great tournament this summer! We’ll be giving our InCites into the Euros for the remainder of the tournament, so be sure to follow along here on the blog and on Twitter using #EuroInCites.


Did you miss any of our EuroInCites posts? Catch up now:
Measuring Research Impact at the European Championship
International Co Authors at the European Championship
Scorecard of the European Championship
Scientific Productivity at the European Championship