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Collaborative Research: The Impact of Scientific Funding


It has long been received wisdom that investment in science greatly facilitates the technological progress that ultimately improves economic productivity and living standards. Unfortunately, the systematic and quantitative evidence to support these arguments remains thin and expensive to produce. Name ambiguity makes this difficult: different scientists may share the same names, and conversely, the same scientist may have their name listed differently within or across publication and patent databases. As a consequence, the collaborative networks of scientists remain unidentified, and the gatekeepers between science and technology have not been systematically identified.
This project develops a large-scale database that links Medline papers and U.S. patents, through identification of individuals who authored both papers and patents using state-of-the-art name disambiguation algorithms. These patent-paper-author links in turns enable identification of similar organizations and in some cases, science/technology fields and geography. The resulting database is used in three exemplary analyses that aim to: 1) study the impact of grants upon science and technical productivity, 2) identify the gatekeepers between science and technology and study how knowledge flows between these two realms, and 3) understand how collaborative, institutional, organizational, and regional factors influence these processes.
The resulting database is publicly available. This both enables science policy scholars to develop systematic and convincing evidence for investment recommendations and enables person-centered research of the science-technology interface of numerous other kinds.

Project PI(s)

PI: Vetle Torvik
Project Contact: Vetle Torvik
Funded by: National Science Foundation

Research Area(s)

Socio-technical Data Analytics
Faculty, researchers and students in the Socio-technical Data Analytics Group design, develop, and evaluate new technologies in order to better understand the dynamic interplay between information, pe…

Project Team