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Scholarly migration within Mexico: analyzing internal migration among researchers using Scopus longitudinal bibliometric data

  • Miranda-González, Andrea1, 2
  • Aref, Samin2
  • Theile, Tom2
  • Zagheni, Emilio2
  • 1 University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA , Berkeley (United States)
  • 2 Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany , Rostock (Germany)
Published Article
EPJ Data Science
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Publication Date
Nov 05, 2020
DOI: 10.1140/epjds/s13688-020-00252-9
Springer Nature


The migration of scholars is a major driver of innovation and of diffusion of knowledge. Although large-scale bibliometric data have been used to measure international migration of scholars, our understanding of internal migration among researchers is very limited. This is partly due to a lack of data aggregated at a suitable sub-national level. In this study, we analyze internal migration in Mexico based on over 1.1 million authorship records from the Scopus database. We trace the movements of scholars between Mexican states, and provide key demographic measures of internal migration for the 1996–2018 period. From a methodological perspective, we develop a new framework for enhancing data quality, inferring states from affiliations, and detecting moves from modal states for the purposes of studying internal migration among researchers. Substantively, we combine demographic and network science techniques to improve our understanding of internal migration patterns within country boundaries. The migration patterns between states in Mexico appear to be heterogeneous in size and direction across regions. However, while many scholars remain in their regions, there seems to be a preference for Mexico City and the surrounding states as migration destinations. We observed that over the past two decades, there has been a general decreasing trend in the crude migration intensity. However, the migration network has become more dense and more diverse, and has included greater exchanges between states along the Gulf and the Pacific Coast. Our analysis, which is mostly empirical in nature, lays the foundations for testing and developing theories that can rely on the analytical framework developed by migration scholars, and the richness of appropriately processed bibliometric data.

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