The dual frontier: Patented inventions and prior scientific advance

Mohammad Ahmadpoor, Benjamin F. Jones*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

The extent to which scientific advances support marketplace inventions is largely unknown. We study 4.8 million U.S. patents and 32 million research articles to determine the minimum citation distance between patented inventions and prior scientific advances. We find that most cited research articles (80%) link forward to a future patent. Similarly, most patents (61%) link backward to a prior research article. Linked papers and patents typically stand 2 to 4 degrees distant from the other domain. Yet, advances directly along the patent-paper boundary are notably more impactful within their own domains. The distance metric further provides a typology of the fields, institutions, and individuals involved in science-to-technology linkages. Overall, the findings are consistent with theories that emphasize substantial and fruitful connections between patenting and prior scientific inquiry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-587
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume357
Issue number6351
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 11 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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