The report by STINT, published June 2016, found that Stockholm University researchers were highly mobile, with 77% having worked at or been affiliated with another university.

Certain types of mobility are associated with higher research impact. Both researchers who moved away (starting at Stockholm University, then moving institutions) as well as researchers who returned (Stockholm University to another institution back to Stockholm University) have a research impact more than twice the world average.

Transitory researchers the most productive

The research which is most impactful, however, comes from “short-term” researchers who have been at, or away from, Stockholm University for less than 2 years. Their research is cited 2.4 times more than average, and Stockholm University has a quite large percent of short-term researchers – 51%, amongst the highest in Sweden. Research impact is almost equally as good whether they move nationally or internationally.

Even the 23% of the University’s researchers labelled ‘sedentary’ (usually at an earlier career stage) had research that was cited 55% more than the world average.

About the study

STINT’s report, “Researcher Mobility in Swedish Higher Education Institutions,” conducted by Elsevier, analysed the amount of impact that researchers have, measured by how many times their work is cited and by whom i.e. “field-weighted citation impact”, and compared this with how mobile the researchers were – whether and to what extent they had worked at the ‘home’ university and others. The data was drawn from Scopus, Elsevier’s abstract and citation database, for articles from 1996-2015.