The roles of sharing, transfer, and public funding in nanotechnology knowledge-diffusion networks

Shan Jiang, Qiang Gao, Hsinchun Chen, Mihail C. Roco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Understanding the knowledge-diffusion networks of patent inventors can help governments and businesses effectively use their investment to stimulate commercial science and technology development. Such inventor networks are usually large and complex. This study proposes a multidimensional network analysis framework that utilizes Exponential Random Graph Models (ERGMs) to simultaneously model knowledge-sharing and knowledge-transfer processes, examine their interactions, and evaluate the impacts of network structures and public funding on knowledge-diffusion networks. Experiments are conducted on a longitudinal data set that covers 2 decades (1991-2010) of nanotechnology-related US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) patents. The results show that knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer are closely interrelated. High degree centrality or boundary inventors play significant roles in the network, and National Science Foundation (NSF) public funding positively affects knowledge sharing despite its small fraction in overall funding and upstream research topics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1017-1029
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • information transfer
  • knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Library and Information Sciences


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