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Commercializing the laboratory: the relationship between faculty patenting and publishing

  • Kira Fabrizio

    ()

    (Emory University, Atlanta)

  • Alberto Di Minin

    (Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna of Pisa)

The recent increase in patenting by university researchers has concerned observers asking if increased patenting is associated with less open publication of research results by university researchers. Access to university-based research knowledge is critical to innovation in many areas of industry. As university researchers increasingly patent their research results, the availability of these results to follow-on innovators may be affected. Patenting may increase dissemination of knowledge through public disclosure. However, many researchers have expressed concern that the increased focus on patenting and commercialization is compromising the historically open nature of university research or that university research in patentable areas is crowding out research in more basic science. Only limited empirical evidence exists regarding the relationship between patenting and publishing by university researchers. Our study adds to this limited evidence with an empirical investigation based on a panel data set for a very broad sample of university researchers. Results indicate that publication production by university researchers does not decrease with patent inventorship, and in fact increases significantly. Analysis of the average number of citations to a researcher’s publications by future publications indicates that papers published in the year of a patent application are cited more heavily, but this relationship is not robust to controlling for the count of that year’s publications by the researcher, suggesting that the positive relationship is related to quality of research rather than patenting itself. Further research on citations to patent-related publication is needed to explore these results.

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Paper provided by Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna of Pisa, Istituto di Management in its series Working Papers with number 200402.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2004
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Handle: RePEc:sse:wpaper:200402
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  1. Owen-Smith, Jason & Powell, Walter W, 2001. " To Patent or Not: Faculty Decisions and Institutional Success at Technology Transfer," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 26(1-2), pages 99-114, January.
  2. Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Frank Windmeijer, 1999. "Individual effects and dynamics in count data models," IFS Working Papers W99/03, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Ajay Agrawal & Rebecca Henderson, 2002. "Putting Patents in Context: Exploring Knowledge Transfer from MIT," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(1), pages 44-60, January.
  4. Nicolas Carayol, 2007. "Academic Incentives, Research Organization And Patenting At A Large French University," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 119-138.
  5. Louis, Karen Seashore, et al, 2001. " Entrepreneurship, Secrecy, and Productivity: A Comparison of Clinical and Non-clinical Life Sciences Faculty," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 233-45, June.
  6. Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson & Adam Jaffe, 1997. "University Versus Corporate Patents: A Window On The Basicness Of Invention," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(1), pages 19-50.
  7. Levin, Sharon G & Stephan, Paula E, 1991. "Research Productivity over the Life Cycle: Evidence for Academic Scientists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 114-32, March.
  8. Mowery, David C. & Ziedonis, Arvids A., 2002. "Academic patent quality and quantity before and after the Bayh-Dole act in the United States," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 399-418, March.
  9. Donald Siegel & David Waldman & Albert Link, 1999. "Assessing the Impact of Organizational Practices on the Productivity of University Technology Transfer Offices: An Exploratory Study," NBER Working Papers 7256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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