Scientometrics

, Volume 95, Issue 1, pp 351–370 | Cite as

Capturing new developments in an emerging technology: an updated search strategy for identifying nanotechnology research outputs

  • Sanjay K. Arora
  • Alan L. Porter
  • Jan Youtie
  • Philip Shapira
Article

Abstract

Bibliometric analysis of publication metadata is an important tool for investigating emerging fields of technology. However, the application of field definitions to define an emerging technology is complicated by ongoing and at times rapid change in the underlying technology itself. There is limited prior work on adapting the bibliometric definitions of emerging technologies as these technologies change over time. The paper addresses this gap. We draw on the example of the modular keyword nanotechnology search strategy developed at Georgia Institute of Technology in 2006. This search approach has seen extensive use in analyzing emerging trends in nanotechnology research and innovation. Yet with the growth of the nanotechnology field, novel materials, particles, technologies, and tools have appeared. We report on the process and results of reviewing and updating this nanotechnology search strategy. By employing structured text-mining software to profile keyword terms, and by soliciting input from domain experts, we identify new nanotechnology-related keywords. We retroactively apply the revised evolutionary lexical query to 20 years of publication data and analyze the results. Our findings indicate that the updated search approach offers an incremental improvement over the original strategy in terms of recall and precision. Additionally, the updated strategy reveals the importance for nanotechnology of several emerging cited-subject categories, particularly in the biomedical sciences, suggesting a further extension of the nanotechnology knowledge domain. The implications of the work for applying bibliometric definitions to emerging technologies are discussed.

Keywords

Nanotechnology Bibliometrics Publications Search strategy Cited subject categories 

Mathematics Subject Classification

91 

JEL Classification

C89 O30 

References

  1. Bonacich, P. (2007). Some unique properties of eigenvector centrality. Social Networks, 29(4), 555–564.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Buckland, M., & Gey, F. (1994). The relationship between recall and precision. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 45(1), 12–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cunningham, S. & Porter, A. (2011). Bibliometric discovery of innovation and commercialization pathways in nanotechnology. Proceedings of the Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET 2011), Portland OR. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpls/abs_all.jsp?arnumber=6017795.
  4. De Bellis, N. (2009). Bibliometrics and citation analysis. Lanham: Scarecrow Press.Google Scholar
  5. Evans, J. A., & Foster, J. G. (2011). Metaknowledge. Science, 331(6018), 721–725.MathSciNetMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Grieneisen, M. (2010). The proliferation of nanotechnology journals. Nature Nanotechnology, 7, 273–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Grieneisen, M. L., & Zhang, M. (2011). Nanoscience and nanotechnology: evolving definitions and growing footprint on the scientific landscape. Small, 7(20), 2836–2839.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Huang, C., Notten, A., & Rasters, N. (2010). Nanoscience and technology publications and patents: a review of social science studies and search strategies. Journal of Technology Transfer, 36(2), 145–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Lakatos, I. (1978).The methodology of scientific research programmes. In J. Worrall, G. Currie (Ed.), Philosophical papers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Leydesdorff, L., Carley, S., & Rafols, I. (2012). Global maps of science based on the new Web-of-Science categories. Preprint available at: http://arxiv.org/abs/1202.1914.
  11. Leydesdorff, L., & Zhou, P. (2007). Nanotechnology as a field of science: its delineation in terms of journals and patents. Scientometrics, 70(3), 693–713.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lin, M., & Zhang, J. (2007). Language trends in nanoscience and technology: the case of Chinese-language publications. Scientometrics, 70(3), 555–564.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mogoutov, A., & Kahane, B. (2007). Data search strategy for science and technology emergence: a scalable and evolutionary query for nanotechnology tracking. Research Policy, 36(6), 893–903.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Newman, M. E. J. (2004). Analysis of weighted networks. Physical Review E, 70(5), 1–9. (056131).Google Scholar
  15. NSTC (2007). The National Nanotechnology Initiative: research and development leading to a revolution in technology and industry. Subcommittee on Nanoscale Science, Engineering and Technology, National Science and Technology Council. Washington: Executive Office of the President. http://www.sandia.gov/NINE/documents/NNI_Strategic_Plan_2007.pdf
  16. PCAST (2010). Report to the President and Congress on the Third Assessment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Washington: Executive Office of the President. http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ostp/pcast/docsreports
  17. PCAST (2012). Report to the President and Congress on the Fourth Assessment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Washington: Executive Office of the President. http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ostp/pcast/docsreports
  18. Porter, A. L., & Youtie, J. (2009). How interdisciplinary is nanotechnology? Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 11(5), 1023–1041.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Porter, A. L., Youtie, J., Shapira, P., & Schoeneck, D. J. (2008). Refining search terms for nanotechnology. Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 10(5), 715–728.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Rafols, I., Porter, A. L., & Leydesdorff, L. (2010). Science overlay maps: a new tool for research policy and library management. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 61(9), 1871–1887.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Roco, M. C. (2004). Nanoscale science and engineering: unifying and transforming tools. AIChE Journal, 50(5), 890–897.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ruhnau, B. (2000). Eigenvector-centrality—a node-centrality? Social Networks, 22(4), 357–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Shapira, P., & Wang, J. (2009). From lab to market? Strategies and issues in the commercialization of nanotechnology in China. Journal of Asian Business Management, 8(4), 461–489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Shapira, P., & Wang, J. (2010). Follow the money. Nature, 468(7324), 627–628.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Shapira, P., & Youtie, J. (2008). Nanodistricts in the United States. Economic Development Quarterly, 22(3), 187–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Subramanian, V., Youtie, J., Porter, A. L., & Shapira, P. (2010). Is there a shift to “active nanostructures”? Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 12(1), 1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Thomas, D. G., Pappu, R. V., & Baker, N. A. (2010). NanoParticle ontology for cancer nanotechnology research. Journal of Biomedical Informatics, 44(1), 59–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Youtie, J., Shapira, P., & Porter, A. L. (2008). Nanotechnology publications and citations by leading countries and blocs. Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 10, 981–986.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Zitt, M., & Bassecoulard, E. (2006). Delineating complex scientific fields by an hybrid lexical-citation method: an application to nanosciences. Information Processing and Management, 42(6), 1513–1531.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Zitt, M., Lelu, A., & Bassecoulard, E. (2011). Hybrid citation-word representations in science mapping: portolan charts of research fields? Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 62(1), 19–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sanjay K. Arora
    • 1
  • Alan L. Porter
    • 1
  • Jan Youtie
    • 2
  • Philip Shapira
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Public PolicyGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Enterprise Innovation InstituteGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, Manchester Business SchoolUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

Personalised recommendations