Predicting Iran's Scientific Collaboration Trend in the Light of Joining International Treaties: Simulating Possible Scenarios Using an Agent-based Modeling Approach

Document Type : Original Article

Authors

Department of Social Sciences, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran.

Abstract

During the last two decades, some international treaties have played a decisive role in facilitating scientific collaboration between member countries. For this reason, the study aims to predict the effect of Iran's membership in these treaties on three things: First, the amount of scientific collaboration between Iran and the members of each treaty; Second, the total amount of Iran's international scientific collaboration; Third, the extent of Iran's dependence on scientific collaboration with the USA, as the most key actor in the international scientific collaboration network. According to the background, the treaties that have a significant impact on international scientific collaboration are G7, G20, EU, OECD, OPEC, APEC, and BRICS. This study is based on the simulation method (with an agent-based modeling approach). This method was used to simulate the network of scientific collaboration between independent countries with more than one million people in the period of 2023-2042. The secondary data required for the simulation were collected from the Web of Science database and the United Nations database. Hypotheses related to possible scenarios were tested based on difference-in-difference statistical model. All calculations, including network simulation and hypothesis testing, were performed in the R software environment. The findings showed that Iran's joining G20, OECD, and APEC will significantly increase Iran's scientific collaboration with the members of each treaty. However, Iran's membership in the BRICS will not have a significant effect on its collaboration with the BRICS members. Also, Iran's joining each of these four treaties will significantly increase the total amount of Iran's international scientific collaboration. However, the increase in the G20 scenario is higher, and in the BRICS scenario is lower than other treaties. At the same time, Iran's membership in the G20 and BRICS will lead to a significant increase in Iran's dependence on collaboration with the USA. In return, Iran's membership in the OECD and APEC will play a significant role in reducing Iran's dependence on collaboration with the USA. Another advantage of Iran's membership in the OECD is strengthening its collaboration with two of the key players in Europe (France and Italy). One of the side benefits of Iran's joining APEC is the significant increase in its collaboration with the key player in East Asia (China). The results indicated that Iran's joining OECD and APEC will help to increase Iran's visibility in the international scientific collaboration network and reduce Iran's dependence on collaboration with the USA.

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