Mapping the importance of the real world: The validity of connectivity analysis of patent citations networks
Recent empirical findings have questioned the use of patent citations as a measure. This points to the need of validation of patent citations methodologies, which we address by testing a recent methodology for studying technological evolution, namely connectivity analysis of citation networks. We find connectivity analysis to be a valid tool to identify the reliable knowledge which opens the way to further technological evolution of a surgical prosthesis, the artificial spinal disc. We also illustrate how connectivity analysis represents how this reliable knowledge differs depending on the stage of technological evolution. The corroborated validity of connectivity analysis of patent citations may trigger a renaissance in the use of this kind of patent data.
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