IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Science system path-dependencies and their influences: nanotechnology research in Russia


  • Maria Karaulova

    () (University of Manchester
    Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna)

  • Abdullah Gök

    () (University of Manchester)

  • Oliver Shackleton

    () (University of Manchester)

  • Philip Shapira

    () (University of Manchester
    Georgia Institute of Technology)


Abstract In this paper, we study the influence of path dependencies on the development of an emerging technology in a transitional economy. Our focus is the development of nanotechnology in Russia in the period between 1990 and 2012. By examining outputs, publication paths and collaboration patterns, we identify a series of factors that help to explain Russia’s limited success in leveraging its ambitious national nanotechnology initiative. The analysis highlights four path-dependent tendencies of Russian nanotechnology research: publication pathways and the gatekeeping role of the Russian Academy of Sciences; increasing geographical and institutional centralisation of nanotechnology research; limited institutional diffusion; and patterns associated with the internationalisation of Russian research. We discuss policy implications related to path dependence, nanotechnology research in Russia and to the broader reform of the Russian science system.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria Karaulova & Abdullah Gök & Oliver Shackleton & Philip Shapira, 2016. "Science system path-dependencies and their influences: nanotechnology research in Russia," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 107(2), pages 645-670, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:107:y:2016:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-016-1916-3
    DOI: 10.1007/s11192-016-1916-3

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bornmann, Lutz & Leydesdorff, Loet & Walch-Solimena, Christiane & Ettl, Christoph, 2011. "Mapping excellence in the geography of science: An approach based on Scopus data," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 537-546.
    2. Julien Vercueil, 2014. "Could Russia become more innovative? Coordinating key actors of the innovation system," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(4), pages 498-521, December.
    3. Vladimir Pislyakov & Elena Shukshina, 2014. "Measuring excellence in Russia: Highly cited papers, leading institutions, patterns of national and international collaboration," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 65(11), pages 2321-2330, November.
    4. George J. Borjas & Kirk B. Doran, 2015. "How High-Skill Immigration Affects Science: Evidence from the Collapse of the USSR," Innovation Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 1-25.
    5. Meyer, Martin, 2006. "Are patenting scientists the better scholars?: An exploratory comparison of inventor-authors with their non-inventing peers in nano-science and technology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 1646-1662, December.
    6. Wong, Chan-Yuan & Wang, Lili, 2015. "Trajectories of science and technology and their co-evolution in BRICS: Insights from publication and patent analysis," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 90-101.
    7. Xuan Liu & Siddharth Kaza & Pengzhu Zhang & Hsinchun Chen, 2011. "Determining inventor status and its effect on knowledge diffusion: A study on nanotechnology literature from China, Russia, and India," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 62(6), pages 1166-1176, June.
    8. Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2006. "Path dependence and regional economic evolution," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(4), pages 395-437, August.
    9. Klochikhin, Evgeny A., 2012. "Russia's innovation policy: Stubborn path-dependencies and new approaches," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(9), pages 1620-1630.
    10. Liebowitz, S J & Margolis, Stephen E, 1995. "Path Dependence, Lock-in, and History," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 205-226, April.
    11. Maxim Kotsemir, 2012. "Publication Activity of Russian Researches in Leading International Scientific Journals," Post-Print hal-00865856, HAL.
    12. Heinze, Thomas & Shapira, Philip & Rogers, Juan D. & Senker, Jacqueline M., 2009. "Organizational and institutional influences on creativity in scientific research," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 610-623, May.
    13. Sujit Bhattacharya & Madhulika Bhati, 2011. "China’s Emergence as a Global Nanotech Player: Lessons for Countries in Transition," China Report, , vol. 47(4), pages 243-262, November.
    14. Evgeny A. Klochikhin & Philip Shapira, 2012. "Engineering Small Worlds in a Big Society: Assessing the Early Impacts of Nanotechnology in C hina," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 29(6), pages 752-775, November.
    15. repec:cup:apsrev:v:94:y:2000:i:02:p:251-267_22 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Dosi, Giovanni & Nelson, Richard R, 1994. "An Introduction to Evolutionary Theories in Economics," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 153-172, September.
    17. Kostoff, Ronald N., 2008. "Comparison of China/USA science and technology performance," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 354-363.
    18. Lutz Bornmann & Caroline Wagner & Loet Leydesdorff, 2015. "BRICS countries and scientific excellence: A bibliometric analysis of most frequently cited papers," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 66(7), pages 1507-1513, July.
    19. Wagner, Caroline S. & Leydesdorff, Loet, 2005. "Network structure, self-organization, and the growth of international collaboration in science," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1608-1618, December.
    20. Zhou, Ping & Leydesdorff, Loet, 2006. "The emergence of China as a leading nation in science," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 83-104, February.
    21. Bozeman, Barry & Corley, Elizabeth, 2004. "Scientists' collaboration strategies: implications for scientific and technical human capital," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 599-616, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Karaulova, Maria & Shackleton, Oliver & Liu, Weishu & Gök, Abdullah & Shapira, Philip, 2017. "Institutional change and innovation system transformation: A tale of two academies," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 196-207.
    2. repec:spr:scient:v:115:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-018-2652-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Weishu Liu & Yishan Ding & Mengdi Gu, 2017. "Book reviews in academic journals: patterns and dynamics," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 110(1), pages 355-364, January.
    4. Alexander I. Terekhov, 2017. "Bibliometric spectroscopy of Russia’s nanotechnology: 2000–2014," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 110(3), pages 1217-1242, March.
    5. repec:spr:scient:v:114:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-017-2597-2 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Russia; Nanotechnology; Path dependence;


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:107:y:2016:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-016-1916-3. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.