The Journal of Technology Transfer

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 550–562 | Cite as

Visualizing nanotechnology research in Canada: evidence from publication activities, 1990–2009

  • Guangyuan Hu
  • Stephen Carley
  • Li TangEmail author


Over the last two decades the scientific community has witnessed unprecedented growth of nanotechnology research in Canada. Although recent studies have shown that Canada consistently maintains a position in the first tier of productive countries in terms of its share of the world’s nano-publications, a number of key questions remain unanswered. Using a unique nano-related publication dataset, this paper combines bibliometric analysis and science overlay mapping to visualize the ‘invisible college’ of Canadian nano research. The present analysis finds that the rapid growth of nanotechnology research in Canada is, for the most part, externally driven. In recent years, research content has shifted toward nanobiotechnology fields. The geographical distribution of Canadian domestic nanotechnology research is characterized by regional imbalance: most research hubs are located near US–Canadian borders. Canadian nanotechnology scientists have collaborated with a variety of countries, but Chinese scholars in particular play a leading role in Canada’s research exchange across national borders.


Nanotechnology Canadian research International collaboration Data visualization 

JEL Classification

O32 O38 



The authors would like to thank two anonymous referees and Al Link for their helpful comments on an earlier draft of this paper. We also wish to acknowledge the feedback from Christopher Kirkey and 2011 CONNECT seminar. Special thanks go to Philip Shapira, Jan Youtie, and Alan Porter for developing large-scale global nanotechnology publication dataset. This research is partially sponsored by the National Science Foundation (Award No. 0531194). The findings and observations contained in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Public Economics and AdministrationShanghai University of Finance and EconomicsShanghaiChina
  2. 2.School of Public PolicyGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA

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