The National Science Council (NSC) has initiated a drive to increase the number of international collaborative research projects and boost the number of such projects between Taiwan and countries in Central and Eastern Europe, NSC Deputy Minister Yang Hung-duen (楊弘敦) said yesterday.
Yang said that the percentage of published papers and theses co-authored by Taiwanese and foreign researchers rose from 14.7 percent in Taiwan in 1996 to 18.2 percent last year.
Most of these international collaborations were between Taiwanese and US researchers, he said.
However, Yang said that the figures indicated that the increase in the number of collaborations between Taiwanese and foreign researchers was still insufficient.
He also said that there was a need for researchers here to collaborate with researchers from other countries besides the US.
The total number of published theses produced in Taiwan topped 15,000 last year, ranking the country No. 18 in the world, Yang said.
However, the number of times the published papers were cited averaged only 2.74 per paper, ranking Taiwan No. 102 in the world in this category, he said.
Because researchers tend to quote the research results of international teams rather than those from a single country, the best way to increase the number of times published papers were cited was to boost the number of collaborative projects between researchers from Taiwan and other countries, he said.
To resolve these issues, the NSC has signed dozens of cooperative memorandums of understanding with governments, institutions and universities in Central and Eastern Europe, including Germany, Russia and the Czech Republic.
The memorandums typically concern bilateral visits for academic purposes, grants and scholarships and funds for international research projects.