The relationship between international collaboration and scientific impact is studied in the context of South American universities. This study aims to comprehensively analyze the strength of this relationship using nonparametric statistical methods. The records are the 244,300 papers published in journals indexed in Scopus (2011–2020) by researchers affiliated to 10 South American public universities and extracted with Scival support. There is a marked trend of collaborative work, since 93% of publications were collaborative at institutional, national or international level, with a higher percentage of international collaboration. A refined analysis of the geographic collaboration of publications in Q1 journals further evidences the frequency of international collaboration. In the top 4 collaborating partner institutions for each university, the presence of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique of France (CNRS) is observed, followed by the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research of Argentina (Conicet). It is proven that there is a statistically significant relationship (p <.01) in each of the 10 universities between collaboration (number of countries) and normalized impact (FWCI). The results confirmed the hypothesis of this study and the authors provide practical recommendations for science policy makers and researchers, including the promotion of strategic collaboration between different institutional sectors of society to increase the impact of publications.
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