Due to licensing restrictions, we cannot provide the raw data. However, we provide estimates obtained using the methods that we developed, and made available with scientific publications for reproducibility purposes. Currently, the database is global, at the country level and covers the period from 1998-2018.

Description Research article Data download Data source Materials for reproducability
Yearly measures of the number of scholars, emigrations,
immigrations, net migration rates and other variables, per country
Replication data on Github Scopus Github repository
Yearly bilateral flows of scholars between countries Replication data on Github Scopus Github repository

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Official Content Guide

More information about how the data is produced and processed can be found in our official data documentation

Any questions & comments

or problems concerning the access to the data, please write to us.

How is the data produced?

Input data

Currently, our main data source is the Scopus bibliometric database because of its high quality in author name disambiguation. It covers the metadata and abstracts from over 50 million articles from more than 9,000 publishers and over 17 million author profiles.

Via the Max Planck Digital Library, we use the infrastructure of the German Competence Centre for Bibliometrics to generate and download 240 million authorship records from the data. One authorship record is the unique combination of author, publication and affiliation addres.

Screenshot of Paper-headlines

Data processing

We filter out unreliable entries of the Scopus database (please read the Methods and Documentation Working Paper for more information). In the next step, we group the data by year and author:

year author affiliation country
2008 Jane Doe DEU
2008 Jane Doe DEU
2008 Jane Doe FRA
2012 Jane Doe USA

If there is more than one affiliation country in one year, we take the most frequent one. If there is a year without any affiliation country, we fill the time up to two years before a publication with the country in the next available year:

year author inferred residence country
2006 Jane Doe DEU
2007 Jane Doe DEU
2008 Jane Doe DEU
2010 Jane Doe USA
2011 Jane Doe USA
2012 Jane Doe USA

Aggregated by country and year, these are the populations of researchers.

Migration events

If the country of residence changes, this will create a "migration event". In our example we register one migration event. The outmigration country is Germany, the inmigration country is the USA. The year of the migration is the first year with a new residence country: 2010.

year author outmigration country inmigration country
2010 Jane Doe DEU USA

The migration numbers for each country are obtained by aggregating all migration events by country and year. The migration rates are calculated by dividing the migration numbers by the country's population of researchers.

Output Data

Country measures

The data is aggregated by country and year.

year country population of researchers inmigration total outmigration total netmigration outmigration rate inmigration rate netmigration rate
2016 DEU 131310 4499 4523 -24 0.034 0.034 -0.0002
2016 USA 759857 15296 14250 1046 0.020 0.019 -0.0014
Replication data on Github

Country-country flows

The data is aggregated by inmigration country, outmigration country and year. It shows the flows of scholars between all countries with at least one migration event.

year outmigration country inmigration country number of migrations
2010 DEU USA 2393
Replication data on Github