Longitudinal study on patent citations to academic research articles in nanotechnology (1976-2004)

Daning Hu, Hsinchun Chen, Zan Huang, Mihail C. Roco

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Academic nanoscale science and engineering (NSE) research provides a foundation for nanotechnology innovation reflected in patents. About 60% or about 50,000 of the NSE-related patents identified by "full-text" keyword searching between 1976 and 2004 at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have an average of approximately 18 academic citations. The most cited academic journals, individual researchers, and research articles have been evaluated as sources of technology innovation in the NSE area over the 28-year period. Each of the most influential articles was cited about 90 times on the average, while the most influential author was cited more than 700 times by the NSE-related patents. Thirteen mainstream journals accounted for about 20% of all citations. Science, Nature and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) have consistently been the top three most cited journals, with each article being cited three times on average. There is another kind of influential journals, represented by Biosystems and Origin of Life, which have very few articles cited but with exceptionally high frequencies. The number of academic citations per year from ten most cited journals has increased by over 17 times in the interval (1990-1999) as compared to (1976-1989), and again over 3 times in the interval (2000-2004) as compared to (1990-1999). This is an indication of increased used of academic knowledge creation in the NSE-related patents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-542
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2007


  • Citation index
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Nanoscale science and engineering
  • Technological innovation
  • Technology fields

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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