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In-text patent citations: A user's guide

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  • Bryan, Kevin A.
  • Ozcan, Yasin
  • Sampat, Bhaven

Abstract

We introduce, validate, and make publicly available a new data source for innovation research: scientific references in patent specifications. These references are common and algorithmically extractable. Critically, they are very different from the “front page” prior art commonly used to proxy for inventor knowledge. Only 24% of front page citations to academic articles are in the patent text, and 31% of in-text citations are on the front page. We explain these differences by describing the legal rules and practice governing citation. Empirical validations suggest that in-text citations are qualitatively different. Further, there is suggestive evidence that they more accurately proxy for knowledge flows, consistent with their legal role.

Suggested Citation

  • Bryan, Kevin A. & Ozcan, Yasin & Sampat, Bhaven, 2020. "In-text patent citations: A user's guide," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(4).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:49:y:2020:i:4:s0048733320300263
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2020.103946
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    Cited by:

    1. Verluise, Cyril & Cristelli, Gabriele & Higham, Kyle & de Rassenfosse, Gaetan, 2020. "The Missing 15 Percent of Patent Citations," SocArXiv x78ys, Center for Open Science.
    2. Higham, Kyle & de Rassenfosse, Gaétan & Jaffe, Adam B., 2021. "Patent Quality: Towards a Systematic Framework for Analysis and Measurement," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(4).
    3. Sijie Feng, 2020. "The proximity of ideas: An analysis of patent text using machine learning," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 15(7), pages 1-19, July.
    4. Kevin A. Bryan & Heidi L. Williams, 2021. "Innovation: Market Failures and Public Policies," NBER Working Papers 29173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Xiaojun Hu & Ronald Rousseau & Sandra Rousseau, 2019. "Does Environmental Economics lead to patentable research?," Papers 1905.02875, arXiv.org.
    6. Matt Marx & Aaron Fuegi, 2020. "Reliance on science: Worldwide front‐page patent citations to scientific articles," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(9), pages 1572-1594, September.
    7. Daniel P. Gross & Bhaven N. Sampat, 2020. "Inventing the Endless Frontier: The Effects of the World War II Research Effort on Post-war Innovation," NBER Working Papers 27375, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Ribeiro, Barbara & Shapira, Philip, 2020. "Private and public values of innovation: A patent analysis of synthetic biology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(1).
    9. N. N., 2020. "WIFO-Monatsberichte, Heft 9/2020," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 93(9), September.

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    JEL classification:

    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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