Recent enactment of the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement has been touted by proponents as a move toward cooperation between the two nations that is without precedent. But on the science front, at least, strong collaboration is hardly a new phenomenon. Indeed, it has been dramatically on the rise throughout this decade.

Since 1980, scientific cooperation, as reflected in scientific papers written jointly by Canadian and U.S. scientists, has risen sharply. Canadians have increased by a third, in percentage terms, the degree to which they publish with their U.S. colleagues, and U.S. scientists have increased by more than half their coanthorship with Canadians.

The accompanying table lists publication data for the U.S. and Canada extracted from the Institute for Scientific Information’s database SciSearch for the years 1980, 1984, and 1988. Over 3,000 of the world’s leading scientific and technical journals are indexed annually in SciSearch, the online version of the...

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