Journal section "Social development"

Structure of International Migration of Researchers. Case Study of Russia

Malakhov V.A., Vasilyeva I.N., Belov F.D.

Volume 13, Issue 5, 2020

Malakhov V.A., Vasil’eva I.N., Belov F.D. Structure of international migration of researchers. Case study of Russia. Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 2020, vol. 13, no. 5, pp. 232–246. DOI: 10.15838/esc.2020.5.71.14

DOI: 10.15838/esc.2020.5.71.14

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
In modern conditions, processes of international migration of researchers affect the level of countries’ development and competitiveness. To develop and implement a national science policy that would be adequate to the challenges, it is necessary to objectively understand the structure of international migration flows of researchers. The purpose of the work is to identify and analyze the structure of scientists’ migration, as well as to explain it using the case study of Russia. The authors conducted a comparison of gender distribution among Russian researchers, affiliated with foreign scientific organizations, by scientific area and countries where they relocated. Data on Russian scientists are compared to data on foreign scientists who came to Russia. Information on Russian scientists, who moved abroad, was taken from the Web of Science bibliometric database, and data on foreign scientists who visited Russia was obtained after conducting a survey among employees of Russian universities and scientific organizations. The gender, geographical, and disciplinary structure of migration of Russian researchers abroad and foreign scientists to Russia is revealed. It is determined that, among Russian scientists, representatives of natural sciences (mostly mathematics and physics) are the ones who are involved the most in processes of international circulation of scientific personnel. The share of women among scientists, who migrated abroad, is lower than among those who stayed in Russia. It is shown that such gender and disciplinary structure of scientists’ migration is not a unique feature of Russian science. Several possible explanations for the existing structure of international migration of researchers are proposed: high demand for Russian physicists and mathematicians on the international scientific labor market; uneven distribution of family obligations; and existence of cultural barriers, which restrict women in choosing potential countries for changing their place of work and residence, in some states. In the future, the bibliometric approach, used by the authors, may be applied to the assessment of the efficiency of public policy instruments aimed at developing international scientific cooperation and interaction with fellow scientists abroad


researchers, gender inequality, circulation of scientific personnel, bibliometric approach, scientific career, international academic mobility, russian scientific diaspora

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