Are highly cited papers more international?

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Several bibliometric studies have shown that international or multicountry papers are generally more cited than domestic or single country papers. Does this also hold for the most cited papers? In this study, the citation impact of domestic versus international papers is analyzed by comparing the share of international papers among the hundred most cited papers in four research specialities, from three universities, four cities and two countries. It is concluded that international papers are not well represented among high impact papers in research specialities, but dominate highly cited papers from small countries, and from cities and institutions within them. The share of international papers among highly cited papers is considerably higher during 2001–2008 compared to earlier years for institutions, cities and countries, but somewhat less for two of the research fields and slightly higher for the other two. Above all, domestic papers from the USA comprise about half of the highly cited papers in the research specialities.

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