Does Science Push Technology? Patents Citing Scientific Literature

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318 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, there has been a trend towards a science and technology policy that is applied in nature. In times of growing public discontent about high taxation and budget deficits, even basic science needs to document industry relevance. Counting patents apparently related to basic research activities through citations would be one way of measuring the relevance of basic research to industry. This has become especially interesting since Narin et al. [Narin, F., Hamilton, K.S., Olivastro, D., 1995. Linkage between agency supported research and patented industrial technology. Research Evaluation 5 (3), 183?187.] observed an increasing linkage between US technology and public science. The results of Narin et al. indicate a growing relationship between science and technology in a very general way. This idea of an increasingly science-based technology might convey the impression that there is direct knowledge-transfer taking place that is reflected in citations to scientific research papers in patents. A study of front pages of patents in the field of nanoscale technologies suggests that citation linkages hardly represent a direct link between cited paper and citing patent.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-434
Number of pages26
JournalResearch Policy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Science
  • Technology
  • Citation
  • Patents
  • Nonpatent references


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