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Nanotechnology as a field of science: Its delineation in terms of journals and patents


  • Loet Leydesdorff

    () (University of Amsterdam)

  • Ping Zhou

    (Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China)


The Journal Citation Reports of the Science Citation Index 2004 were used to delineate a core set of nanotechnology journals and a nanotechnology-relevant set. In comparison with 2003, the core set has grown and the relevant set has decreased. This suggests a higher degree of codification in the field of nanotechnology: the field has become more focused in terms of citation practices. Using the citing patterns among journals at the aggregate level, a core group of ten nanotechnology journals in the vector space can be delineated on the criterion of betweenness centrality. National contributions to this core group of journals are evaluated for the years 2003, 2004, and 2005. Additionally, the specific class of nanotechnology patents in the database of the U. S. Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) is analyzed to determine if non-patent literature references can be used as a source for the delineation of the knowledge base in terms of scientific journals. The references are primarily to general science journals and letters, and therefore not specific enough for the purpose of delineating a journal set.

Suggested Citation

  • Loet Leydesdorff & Ping Zhou, 2007. "Nanotechnology as a field of science: Its delineation in terms of journals and patents," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 70(3), pages 693-713, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:70:y:2007:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-007-0308-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s11192-007-0308-0

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    References listed on IDEAS

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