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Is the prominent scientist the one who becomes an inventor? A matching of Swedish academic pairs in nanoscience to examine the effect of publishing on patenting

Journal article
Authors Evangelos Bourelos
Berna Beyhan
Maureen McKelvey
Published in Research Evaluation
Volume 26
Issue 2
Pages 144-156
ISSN 0958-2029
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Economy and Society, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE)
Pages 144-156
Language en
Keywords nanoscience, academic patents, academic engagement, publications, Sweden, interdisciplinarity, science-and-technology, converging technologies, research performance, national-survey, nano-science, nanotechnology, patterns, knowledge, industry, interdisciplinarity, Information Science & Library Science
Subject categories Economics and Business


Nanoscience is an interdisciplinary field in which science, in terms of publications, and technology, in terms of inventions, are closely related. Sweden represents an interesting setting to examine how they are related because a high proportion of the total Swedish academic patents can be classified as nanoscience. Combining bibliometric data from the Web of Science, patent data from European Patent Office and data from Swedish universities, this article identifies all authors and all inventors listed on patents who work at universities in Sweden within nanotechnology. The main question we address is whether prominent academic scientists in terms of scientific publications are also the ones who become academic inventors. The article uses a semiparametric technique, namely a conditional regression in a matched sample, to isolate the effect of publishing on patenting. One novelty of this article is that it applies a conditional logistic regression in matched pairs of academics, to isolate the relationship between patenting and publishing in nanoscience. The empirical results show that academics who both publish and patent have, on average, more publications as well as more citations. Furthermore, having a higher number of citations can increase the probability of having a patent. Interdisciplinarity is also positively correlated with patenting. Thus, by isolating the effects of publishing on patenting, this article demonstrates that scientific prominence, indicated both by the number of articles and citations, positively impacts the propensity to take patents.

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