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National Cancer Institute

The Dual Frontier: Patentable Inventions and Prior Scientific Advance

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Ahmadpoor M, Jones B. The Dual Frontier: Patentable Inventions and Prior Scientific Advance. Oral presentation at 2017 SciTS Conference. Clearwater Beach, FL. Jun 13, 2017. New Findings on What leads to Innovation. Online at:

We build a new knowledge map, linking 4.8 million U.S. patents to 32 million research articles in the Web of Science, to determine the minimum citation distance between patentable inventions and prior scientific advances. The distance metric provides a new typology of impact to characterize fields, funders, institutions, and individuals. The metric can also inform long-standing ideas about the nature of scientific and technological progress. We find that the integrated citation network encompasses the majority of both patents and papers. Yet the linkages are typically indirect, peaking 3 degrees (papers) and 2 degrees (patents) from the patent-paper boundary, and fields vary enormously. The findings of majority connectivity, indirect connectivity, and the prevalence of universityto-firm linkages across the paper-patent boundary are consistent with some core conceptions of the “linear model” of science. However, consistent with more recent theories of scientific and technological progress, the same individual often bridges the patentpaper boundary, and advances along the patent-paper boundary appear strikingly more impactful within their respective domains.



Type of Publication:

Oral presentation


scits 2017 conference, presentation, scientific advance, inventions, patent

Addresses these goal(s):

  • Learn about the field of team science: history, theory and concepts
  • Conduct research on/evaluate team science

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Resource created by Jane Hwang on 10/5/2017 1:54:49 PM.

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