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Intellectual property rights and the evolution of scientific journals as knowledge platforms

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  • Fehder, Daniel C.
  • Murray, Fiona
  • Stern, Scott

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to evaluate the role that formal intellectual property rights (IPR) play in shaping the downstream demand for knowledge that is initially disclosed through scientific publication in fields where research is generated and utilized across different institutional settings (i.e., academia versus industry). For scientific discoveries with potential commercial applicability, researchers (or their funders) may also seek to establish formal intellectual property protection (e.g., patents); choosing to establish a “patent–paper pair” allows researchers to influence follow-on access to knowledge disclosed in a given scientific journal. This paper evaluates the relationship between scientific journal publication and patenting in research communities with significant public and private authorship by examining the incidence and impact of patent–paper pairs in two journals founded in the late 1990s/early 2000s, Nature Biotechnology and Nature Materials. Using a differences-in-differences framework that exploits the delay between publication and patent grant, we document a range of findings about the impact of patent grant across time and across research populations. First, we find that the negative impact of patent grant is concentrated in the first few years after a journal's founding and eventually becomes positive. Second, patent grant positively impacts follow-on citations from private authors more than from public authors. Finally, we observe an assortative matching pattern where intellectual property grant increases forward citations from authors sharing the same institutional affiliation (e.g., public authors citing public papers) more than research across institutional lines (e.g., public authors citing private papers).

Suggested Citation

  • Fehder, Daniel C. & Murray, Fiona & Stern, Scott, 2014. "Intellectual property rights and the evolution of scientific journals as knowledge platforms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 83-94.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:36:y:2014:i:c:p:83-94
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijindorg.2014.08.002
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    Cited by:

    1. Mueller-Langer, Frank & Fecher, Benedikt & Harhoff, Dietmar & Wagner, Gert G., 2019. "Replication studies in economics—How many and which papers are chosen for replication, and why?," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 62-83.
    2. Gans, Joshua S. & Murray, Fiona E. & Stern, Scott, 2017. "Contracting over the disclosure of scientific knowledge: Intellectual property and academic publication," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 820-835.
    3. Nancy Gallini, 2017. "Do patents work? Thickets, trolls and antibiotic resistance," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 50(4), pages 893-926, November.
    4. Drivas, Kyriakos & Lei, Zhen & Wright, Brian D., 2017. "Academic patent licenses: Roadblocks or signposts for nonlicensee cumulative innovation?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 282-303.
    5. Thompson, Neil C. & Ziedonis, Arvids A. & Mowery, David C., 2018. "University licensing and the flow of scientific knowledge," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(6), pages 1060-1069.
    6. Shen, Yung-Chi & Wang, Ming-Yeu & Yang, Ya-Chu, 2020. "Discovering the potential opportunities of scientific advancement and technological innovation: A case study of smart health monitoring technology," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 160(C).
    7. Goldstein, Anna P. & Narayanamurti, Venkatesh, 2018. "Simultaneous pursuit of discovery and invention in the US Department of Energy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(8), pages 1505-1512.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Scientific journals; Patents; Intellectual property; Communities; Platforms; Innovation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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