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A new approach to explore the knowledge transition path in the evolution of science & technology: From the biology of restriction enzymes to their application in biotechnology

Xiaojun Hu and Ronald Rousseau

Journal of Informetrics, 2018, vol. 12, issue 3, 842-857

Abstract: In this contribution, we develop a new approach to explore the process of knowledge transition from discovery-oriented science to technological fields, via applications-oriented research, including a mediator set. This trajectory is referred to as the D-A-T trajectory. It is shown how it can be constructed and measures are proposed to characterize the relational strength among different environments (discovery oriented research, applications-oriented research and patents) and the speed of evolution. Our approach is illustrated by a case study of three fundamental restriction enzymes articles. Among other results we found that 387 patents cited 124 of the 988 articles (a share of 12.55%) in the mediator set. Defining the non-patent references (NPR) transition rate as the number of citing patents divided by the number of articles in the mediator set yields a value 0.392. Our results suggest that the D-A-T path acts as a backbone and reveals important “invisible contributions” of an original scientific work during its evolution from discovery oriented research to outside academia. Our contribution provides a useful tool for bridging the existing gap in detecting the transition of knowledge between science and technology.

Keywords: evolution of S&T; applications-oriented; D-A-T path; phase transition; environment of knowledge utilization; mediator set (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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