, Volume 70, Issue 3, pp 669-692

First online:

The global institutionalization of nanotechnology research: A bibliometric approach to the assessment of science policy

  • Joachim SchummerAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy, University of Darmstadt Email author 

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Based on bibliometric methods, this paper describes the global institutionalization of nanotechnology research from the mid-1980s to 2006. Owing to an extremely strong dynamics, the institutionalization of nanotechnology is likely to surpass those of major disciplines in only a few years. A breakdown of the relative institutionalizations strengths by the main geographical regions, countries, research sectors, disciplines, and institutional types provides a very diverse picture over the time period because of different national science policies. The results allow a critical assessment of the different science policies based on the relative institutionalizations strengths as well as the conclusion that the institutionalization process has run out of control of individual governments who once induced the development.