, Volume 58, Issue 2, pp 369-390

Characterizing intellectual spaces between science and technology

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Abstract

The paper presents a methodology for studying the interactions between science and technology. Our approach rests mostly on patent citation and co-word analysis. In particular, this study aims to delineate intellectual spaces in thin-film technology in terms of science/technology interaction. The universe of thin-film patents can be viewed as the macro-level and starting point of our analysis. Applying a bottom-up approach, intellectual spaces at the micro-level are defined by tracing prominent concepts in publications, patents, and their citations of scientific literature. In another step, co-word analysis is used to generate meso-level topics and sub-topics. Overlapping structures and specificities that emerge are explored in the light of theoretical understanding of science-technology interactions. In particular, one can distinguish prominent concepts among patent citations that either co-occur in both thin-film publications and patents or reach out to one of the two sides. Future research may address the question to what extent one can interpret directionality into this.