In the last two decades, research collaborations inside the United States and with other countries have increased. Scholars who have studied the composition in scientific collaborations have noted demographic factors as important personal attributes. However, little scholarly work has examined how national origin affects international research collaboration in the United States. This article presents some findings from a National Science Foundation–funded study on the international research collaboration activities of fifty-one Indian immigrant faculty members from eighteen American universities. Collaboration identified in this study goes beyond coauthorship, which remains a popular measure of research collaboration in the literature. The results suggest that while international collaboration is growing, migrants do not necessarily collaborate only with those from their home country, as suggested in transnationalism literature. In fact, more than one-third of the respondents in this study collaborate only within the United States. Those who do collaborate with Indian researchers are more likely to build alliances with scholars who have been trained in the United States and have returned to India, giving credence to social network theory. Despite advances in technology, face-to-face interaction was the most preferred form of collaboration.
Transnational Research Collaboration: Expatriate Indian Faculty in the United States Connecting with Peers in India
Meghna Sabharwal is associate professor of public affairs at the University of Texas at Dallas. Her research interests focus on public human resources management as it relates to job satisfaction and productivity, workplace diversity, and high-skilled immigration. Her most recent work has been published in Perspectives on Global Development and Technology, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Public Personnel Management, Public Administration Quarterly, Public Management Review, Review of Public Personnel Administration, Administration and Society, among others. She has also coauthored Public Personnel Administration (5th ed., 2013) and coedited Public Administration in South Asia: India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan (2013).
Roli Varma is Carl Hatch Endowed Professor and Regents' Lecturer in the School of Public Administration at the University of New Mexico. Her research focuses on women and minorities in information technology education, Asian immigrants in the science and engineering workforce, return migration of scientists and engineers, and professional ethics. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the Sloan Foundation. She is the author of Harbingers of Global Change: India's Techno-Immigrants in the United States (2006). She served on the Association for Computing Machinery Task Force on Job Migration in 2004–5 and is an invited member of the Social Science Advisory Board of the US National Center of Women in Information Technology.
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Meghna Sabharwal, Roli Varma; Transnational Research Collaboration: Expatriate Indian Faculty in the United States Connecting with Peers in India. East Asian Science, Technology and Society 1 September 2015; 9 (3): 275–293. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/18752160-3141241
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