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Inventorship and Authorship in Patent-Publication Pairs: an Enquiry into the Economics of Scientific Credit

Francesco Lissoni () and Fabio Montobbio ()

No 224, KITeS Working Papers from KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy

Abstract: Authorship and inventorship are attribution rights that contribute to the reputation of individual scientists, but have to be distributed across several individuals, due to the importance of teamwork in both science and technology. For academic teams that both publish and patent their research results, we can compare the social and legal norms that regulate the joint distribution of these two types of attribution rights. We use text-mining techniques to identify 681 “patent-publication pairs” (related sets of patents and publications), for a sample of Italian academic scientists. On average, the number of coauthors is larger than the number of co-inventors, especially in medical-related fields. First and last authors have a lower probability of being excluded from inventorship, as suggested by patent laws. However, the probability of exclusion also declines with seniority, as expected from social norms. Longlasting doubts on the reliability of authorship as a tool for allocating scientific credit are reinforced, and can be extended to inventorship.

JEL-codes: O31 O34 L30 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ipr, nep-pr~ and nep-sog
Date: 2008-11, Revised 2008-11
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