Purpose – Recent studies report that China is becoming a leading nation in the quantity of scientific
output, including in the emerging field of nanotechnology. In nanotechnology, bibliometric measures
based on citations also indicate improvements in the research impacts of Chinese scientific papers. The
purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of international collaboration, including the role of
knowledge moderation through Chinese researchers who collaborate in both domestic and
international scientific cooperation, on the impacts of Chinese nanotechnology research publications.
Design/methodology/approach – Using a nanotechnology publication dataset, bibliometric
analysis and statistical testing are adopted to explore the issues raised in the study.
Findings – International collaboration, through direct collaboration and indirectly through Chinese
knowledge moderators, has a positive impact on the quality of Chinese research, controlling for
language, discipline, research capacity, and other factors.
Originality/value – The concept of a Chinese knowledge moderator is introduced to identify
Chinese researchers who bridge scientific worlds by publishing scientific papers with both domestic
and international colleagues. This concept is operationalized to capture the indirect impacts in China of
international knowledge linkages and spillovers including those associated with overseas Chinese
researchers and with overseas returnees.
Keywords China, Innovation, Technology management, Research work, Nanotechnology,
International collaboration, Knowledge moderation, Knowledge spillover
Paper type Research paper
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/li_tang/11/