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Identifying creative research accomplishments: methodology and results for nanotechnology and human genetics


  • Heinze, Thomas
  • Shapira, Philip
  • Senker, Jacqueline
  • Kuhlmann, Stefan


Motivated by concerns about the organizational and institutional conditions that foster research creativity in science, we focus on how creative research can be defined, operationalized, and empirically identified. A functional typology of research creativity is proposed encompassing theoretical, methodological and empirical developments in science. We then apply this typology through a process of creative research event identification in the fields of nanotechnology and human genetics in Europe and the United States, combining nominations made by several hundred experts with data on prize winners. Characteristics of creative research in the two respective fields are analyzed, and there is a discussion of broader insights offered by our approach.

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  • Heinze, Thomas & Shapira, Philip & Senker, Jacqueline & Kuhlmann, Stefan, 2006. "Identifying creative research accomplishments: methodology and results for nanotechnology and human genetics," Discussion Papers "Innovation Systems and Policy Analysis" 8, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:fisidp:8

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dag W. Aksnes, 2006. "Citation rates and perceptions of scientific contribution," Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 57(2), pages 169-185, January.
    2. Hollingsworth, Joseph Rogers, 2002. "Research organizations and major discoveries in twentieth-century science: A case study of excellence in biomedical research," Discussion Papers, Presidential Department P 02-003, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gianluca Fabiano & Andrea Marcellusi & Giampiero Favato, 2020. "Public–private contribution to biopharmaceutical discoveries: a bibliometric analysis of biomedical research in UK," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 124(1), pages 153-168, July.
    2. Nicolas Battard & Paul F. Donnelly & Vincent Mangematin, 2012. "Integration of multiple stakeholders in scientific research : A sensemaking-sensegiving approach," Grenoble Ecole de Management (Post-Print) hal-01514751, HAL.
    3. Jan Youtie & Philip Shapira, 2008. "Mapping the nanotechnology enterprise: a multi-indicator analysis of emerging nanodistricts in the US South," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 209-223, April.
    4. Thomas Heinze & Gerrit Bauer, 2007. "Characterizing creative scientists in nano-S&T: Productivity, multidisciplinarity, and network brokerage in a longitudinal perspective," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 70(3), pages 811-830, March.
    5. Nicolas Battard, 2012. "Convergence and multidisciplinarity in nanotechnology: Laboratories as technological hubs," Post-Print hal-01514795, HAL.
    6. Jue Wang & Philip Shapira, 2011. "Funding acknowledgement analysis: an enhanced tool to investigate research sponsorship impacts: the case of nanotechnology," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 87(3), pages 563-586, June.
    7. Nicolas Battard & Paul F. Donnelly & Vincent Mangematin, 2012. "Integration of multiple stakeholders in scientific research : A sensemaking-sensegiving approach," Post-Print hal-01514751, HAL.
    8. Laudel, Grit & Gläser, Jochen, 2014. "Beyond breakthrough research: Epistemic properties of research and their consequences for research funding," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1204-1216.
    9. Mie Augier & James G. March & Andrew W. Marshall, 2015. "Perspective—The Flaring of Intellectual Outliers: An Organizational Interpretation of the Generation of Novelty in the RAND Corporation," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(4), pages 1140-1161, August.
    10. Tomaz Bartol & Karmen Stopar, 2015. "Nano language and distribution of article title terms according to power laws," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 103(2), pages 435-451, May.
    11. 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.
    12. Guangyuan Hu & Stephen Carley & Li Tang, 2012. "Visualizing nanotechnology research in Canada: evidence from publication activities, 1990–2009," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 37(4), pages 550-562, August.
    13. Chen, Chaomei & Chen, Yue & Horowitz, Mark & Hou, Haiyan & Liu, Zeyuan & Pellegrino, Donald, 2009. "Towards an explanatory and computational theory of scientific discovery," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 191-209.
    14. Ylenia Curci & Mireille Matt & Isabelle Billard & Thierry Burger-Helmchen, 2017. "Are the risks of being creative manageable? The case of public research in Hard Science," Working Papers of BETA 2017-30, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.

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