Scientific Collaboration on COVID-19 Amidst Geopolitical Tensions between the US and China

Jenny J. Lee, John P. Haupt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


As the threat of COVID-19 and US-China tensions are increasing, this study focused on this intensifying intersection between geopolitics and global science in the midst of a pandemic. This scientometric study examined the US’ and China’s international collaboration patterns on science and engineering (S&E) COVID-19 articles through the lenses of scientific nationalism and scientific globalism. While scientific nationalism would assume that the current political rhetoric and protectionist policies would lead to a decrease in international collaboration, our findings showed the reverse. The world’s proportion of international collaborations generally increased. Findings also revealed that despite geopolitical tensions, the highest number of internationally coauthored S&E COVID-19 articles between two countries involve the US and China. Their collaboration rate on COVID-19 is higher than during the past five-years as well as on non-COVID-19 articles published during 2020.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-329
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Higher Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Global science
  • international collaboration
  • international relations
  • scientific research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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