Journal of Data and Information Science

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New Indicators of the Technological Impact of Scientific Production

Vicente P. Guerrero-Bote1†, Henk F. Moed2, Félix Moya-Anegón3   

  1. 1SCImago Group, Dept. Information and Communication, University of Extremadura, Badajoz, Spain;
    2Sapienza University of Rome, Italy;
    3SCImago Group, Madrid, Spain
  • Received:2021-03-05 Revised:2021-05-06 Accepted:2021-06-03 Online:2021-06-16 Published:2021-06-16
  • Contact: Vicente P. Guerrero-Bote (E-mail:

Abstract: Purpose: Building upon pioneering work by Francis Narin and others, a new methodological approach to assessing the technological impact of scientific research is presented.
Design/methodology/approach: It is based on the analysis of citations made in patent families included in the PATSTAT database that is to scientific papers indexed in Scopus.
Findings: An advanced citation matching procedure is applied to the data in order to construct two indicators of technological impact: on the citing (patent) side, the country/region in which protection is sought and a patent family’s propensity to cite scientific papers are taken into account, and on the cited (paper) side, a relative citation rate is defined for patent citations to papers that is similar to the scientific paper-to-paper citation rate in classical bibliometrics.
Research limitations: The results are limited by the available data, in our case Scopus and PATSTAT, and especially by the lack of standardization of references in patents. This required a matching procedure that is neither trivial nor exact.
Practical implications: Results at the country/region, document type, and publication age levels are presented. The country/region-level results in particular reveal features that have remained hidden in analyses of straight counts. Especially notable is that the rankings of some Asian countries/regions move upwards when the proposed normalized indicator of technological impact is applied as against the case with straight counts of patent citations to those countries/regions’ published papers.
Originality/value: In our opinion, the level of sophistication of the indicators proposed in the current paper is unparalleled in the scientific literature, and provides a solid basis for the assessment of the technological impact of scientific research in countries/regions and institutions.

Key words: Technological Impact, Patents, Scientometric, PATSTAT, Scopus