, Volume 111, Issue 3, pp 2077–2087 | Cite as

A measure of staying power: Is the persistence of emergent concepts more significantly influenced by technical domain or scale?

  • Stephen F. CarleyEmail author
  • Nils C. Newman
  • Alan L. Porter
  • Jon G. Garner


This study advances a four-part indicator for technical emergence. While doing so it focuses on a particular class of emergent concepts—those which display the ability to repeatedly maintain an emergent status over multiple time periods. The authors refer to this quality as staying power and argue that those concepts which maintain this ability are deserving of greater attention. The case study we consider consists of 15 subdatatsets within the dye-sensitized solar cell framework. In this study the authors consider the impact technical domain and scale have on the behavior of persistently emergent concepts and test which of these has a greater influence.


Technical emergence Technology space Staying power 


  1. Alexander, J., Murdick, D., Babko-Malaya, O., & Boyack, K. (2013). Detecting and evaluating the emergence of science and technology: Activities in foresight and understanding from scientific exposition. In Global Tech mining conference, Atlanta.Google Scholar
  2. An, L., Lin, X., Chuanming, Yu., & Zhang, X. (2015). Measuring and visualizing the contributions of Chinese and American LIS research institutions to emerging themes and salient themes. Scientometrics, 105(3), 1605–1634.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Arora, S., Porter, A. L., Youtie, J., & Shapira, P. (2013). Capturing new developments in an emerging technology: an updated search strategy for identifying nanotechnology research outputs. Scientometrics, 95(1), 351–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Carley, S., Newman, N. C., Porter, A. L., & Garner, J. (2017). A four part indicator for technical emergence. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
  5. de Haan, J. (2006). How emergence arises. Ecological Complexity., 3(4), 293–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Foresight and Understanding from Scientific Exposition (FUSE). (2014). Accessed 14 Sept 2016.
  7. Foresight and Understanding from Scientific Exposition (FUSE). (2014). Accessed 29 Dec 2016.
  8. Girvan, M., & Newman, M. E. J. (2002). Community structure in social and biological networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 99(12), 7821–7826.MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  9. Goldstein, J. (1999). Emergence as a construct: History and issues. Emergence, 1(1), 49–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Guo, Y., Ma, T., Porter, A. L., & Huang, L. (2012). Text mining of information resources to inform Forecasting Innovation Pathways. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 24(8), 843–861.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Martin, B. R. (1995). Foresight in science and technology. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 7(2), 139–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. O’Brien, J. J., Carley, S., & Porter, A. L. (2013). ClusterSuite [computer software], Atlanta, GA (available via
  13. Rotolo, D., Hicks, D., & Martin, B. R. (2015). What is an emerging technology? Research Policy, 44(10), 1827–1843.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Small, H., Boyack, K., & Klavans, R. (2014). Identifying emerging topics in science and technology. Research Policy, 43(8), 1450–1467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Stahl, B. C. (2011). What does the future hold? A critical view on emerging information and communication technologies and their social consequences. In M. Chiasson, O. Henfridsson, H. Karsten & J. I. DeGross (Eds.), Proceedings Researching the Future in Information Systems: IFIP WG 8.2 Working Conference, Future IS 2011. Turku, Finland, June 6–8, 2011 (pp. 59–76). Heidelberg: Springer.Google Scholar
  16. VantagePoint. (2012). Search technology. Retrieved September 15, 2016, from

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen F. Carley
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Nils C. Newman
    • 2
    • 3
  • Alan L. Porter
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jon G. Garner
    • 2
  1. 1.Enterprise Innovation InstituteGeorgia TechAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Search Technology, IncNorcrossUSA
  3. 3.Intelligent Information Services CorporationAtlantaUSA

Personalised recommendations