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Scientometric Mapping as a Strategic Intelligence Tool for the Governance of Emerging Technologies

Daniele Rotolo (), Ismael Rafols (), Michael Hopkins () and Loet Leydesdorff ()
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Michael Hopkins: SPRU, University of Sussex, UK

SPRU Working Paper Series from SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School

Abstract: How can scientometric mapping function as a tool of ’strategic intelligence’ to aid the governance of emerging technologies? The present paper aims to address this question by focusing on a set of recently developed scientometric techniques, namely overlay mapping. We examine the potential these techniques have to inform, in a timely manner, analysts and decision-makers about relevant dynamics of technical emergence. We investigate the capability of overlay mapping in generating informed perspectives about emergence across three spaces: geographical, social, and cognitive. Our analysis relies on three empirical studies of emerging technologies in the biomedical domain: RNA interference (RNAi), Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) testing technologies for cervical cancer, and Thiopurine Methyltransferase (TPMT) genetic testing. The case-studies are analysed and mapped longitudinally by using publication and patent data. Results show the variety of ’intelligence’ inputs overlay mapping can produce for the governance of emerging technologies. Overlay mapping also confers to the investigation of emergence flexibility and granularity in terms of adaptability to different sources of data and selection of the levels of the analysis, respectively. These features make possible the integration and comparison of results from different contexts and cases, thus providing possibilities for a potentially more ’distributed’ strategic intelligence. The generated perspectives allow triangulation of findings, which is important given the complexity featuring in technical emergence and the limitations associated with the use of single scientometric approaches

Keywords: scientometric overlay mappings; emerging technology; strategic intelligence; governance; case-study (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014-06
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