Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

The evolution of large-scale dimensional metrology from the perspective of scientific articles and patents

  • 632 Accesses

  • 13 Citations


In the last two decades, there has been a great development of the measuring systems in the field of large-scale dimensional metrology (LSDM), as also proved by the significant growth of the scientific literature. The aim of this paper is to analyze the LSDM scientific literature, from the dual perspective of scientific articles and patents, and estimate their impact in terms of amount of documents and relevant citations. In detail, this study investigates similarities and differences between articles and patents, as regards their dominant technologies and temporal distribution, and identifies (1) the major scientific journals and conference proceedings containing LSDM articles and (2) the major assignees of LSDM patents. Two main results emerge from the analysis: (a) important inventions concerning new LSDM systems were deposited before the end of twentieth century, while scientific articles have “bloomed” only in the last decade, and (b) the vast majority of patents concern inventions related to the laser-interferometry technology, while articles are divided more evenly among available technologies, with an important role played by the less accurate but more affordable ones, such as photogrammetry or structured-light scanning.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.

    Puttock MJ (1978) Large-scale metrology. Ann CIRP 21(1):351–356

  2. 2.

    Franceschini F, Galetto M, Maisano D, Mastrogiacomo L (2009) On-line diagnostics in the mobile spatial coordinate measuring system (MScMS). Precis Eng 33(4):408–417

  3. 3.

    Franceschini F, Galetto M, Maisano D, Mastrogiacomo L, Pralio B (2011) Distributed large-scale dimensional metrology. Springer, London

  4. 4.

    Estler WT, Edmundson KL, Peggs GN, Parker DH (2002) Large-scale metrology—an update. CIRP Ann Manuf Technol 51(2):587–609

  5. 5.

    Peggs GN, Maropoulos PG, Hughes EB, Forbes AB, Robson S, Ziebart M, Muralikrishnan B (2009) Recent developments in large-scale dimensional metrology. Proc Inst Mech Eng B J Eng Manuf 223(6):571–595

  6. 6.

    Muelaner JE, Cai B, Maropoulos PG (2010) Large-volume metrology instrument selection and measurability analysis. Proc Inst Mech Eng B J Eng Manuf 224(6):853–868

  7. 7.

    Jun S, Lee J (2012) Emerging technology forecasting using new patent information analysis. Int J Softw Eng Appl 6(3):107–116

  8. 8.

    Glänzel W, Meyer M (2003) Patents cited in the scientific literature: an exploratory study of 'reverse' citation relations. Scientometrics 58(2):415–428

  9. 9.

    Seeber F (2007) Patent searches as a complement to literature searches in the life sciences—a 'how-to' tutorial. Nat Protoc 2(10):2418–2428

  10. 10.

    Van Looy B, Callaert J, Debackere K (2006) Publication and patent behavior of academic researchers: conflicting, reinforcing or merely co-existing? Res Policy 35(4):596–608

  11. 11.

    Czarnitzki D, Glänzel W, Hussinger K (2007) Patent and publication activities of German professors: an empirical assessment of their co-activity. Res Eval 16(4):311–319

  12. 12.

    Breschi S, Catalini C (2010) Tracing the links between science and technology: an exploratory analysis of scientists’ and inventors’ networks. Res Policy 39(1):14–26

  13. 13.

    Franceschini F, Maisano D, Turina E (2012) European research in the field of production technology and manufacturing systems: an exploratory analysis through publications and patents. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 62(1–4):329–350

  14. 14.

    De Bellis N (2009) Bibliometrics and citation analysis: from the Science Citation Index to Cybermetrics. Lanham Scarecrow Press, MD, USA

  15. 15.

    Cheng YH, Kuan FY, Chuang SC (2010) Profitability decided by patent quality? An empirical study of the U.S. semiconductor industry. Scientometrics 82(1):175–183

  16. 16.

    Scopus – Elsevier (2013) www.info.scopus.com [8 March 2013]

  17. 17.

    Bar-Ilan J (2010) Citations to the ‘introduction to informetrics’ indexed by WOS, Scopus and Google Scholar. Scientometrics 82(3):495–506

  18. 18.

    Jacsó P (2008) Testing the calculation of a realistic h-index in Google Scholar, Scopus, and Web of Science for F. W. Lancaster. Libr Trends 56(4):784–815

  19. 19.

    Questel – Orbit (2013) www.questel.com/prodsandservices/orbit.htm [8 March 2013]

  20. 20.

    Yu, J., Chong, Z., Lu, H., Zhou, A. (2004) False positive or false negative: Mining frequent itemsets from high speed transactional data streams. Proceedings of the Thirtieth international conference on Very large data bases (VLDB '04), 30: 204–215

  21. 21.

    Hinze, S., Schmoch, U. (2004) Opening the black box, In: Moed, H.F., Glänzel, W., Schmoch U. (eds.), Handbook of quantitative science and technology studies, 215–236 Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands

  22. 22.

    Larsen PO, von Ins M (2010) The rate of growth in scientific publication and the decline in coverage provided by Science Citation Index. Scientometrics 84(3):575–603

  23. 23.

    Rogers E (2013) Diffusion of innovations, 5th edn. Free Press, NY

  24. 24.

    Guan JC, Gao X (2009) Exploring the h-index at patent level. J Am Soc Inf Sci Technol 60(1):35–40

  25. 25.

    Hara T, Arai T, Shimomura Y, Sakao T (2007) Service/product engineering: a new discipline for value production, in 19th International Conference on Production Research (ICPR-19), 29 July to 2 August 2007. Valparaiso, Chile

  26. 26.

    Mohan-Ram, V. (2001) Patent first, publish later: how not to ruin your chances of winning a patent. Science Career, 26 October 2001, http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org [8 March 2013]

  27. 27.

    ASME B89.4.19-2006 (2006). Performance evaluation of laser-based spherical coordinate measurement systems, http://www.asme.org [8 March 2013]

  28. 28.

    VDI/VDE 2634–1 (2002) Optical 3-D measuring systems and imaging systems with point-by-point probing. Beuth Verlag, Berlin

  29. 29.

    ISO 10360–2 (2001) Geometrical product specifications (GPS)—acceptance and reverification tests for coordinate measuring machines (CMM), Part 2: CMMs used for measuring size. International Organization for Standardization, Geneva

  30. 30.

    CIRP (2013) Organization website: http://www.cirp.net. [8 March 2013]

  31. 31.

    Foglia P (2007) Patentability search strategies and the reformed IPC: a patent office perspective. World Patent Inf 29(1):33–53

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Fiorenzo Franceschini.



Table 6 List of the papers selected for the analysis
Table 7 List of the patents selected for the analysis

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Franceschini, F., Maisano, D. The evolution of large-scale dimensional metrology from the perspective of scientific articles and patents. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 70, 887–909 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-013-5317-y

Download citation


  • Large-scale dimensional metrology
  • Large volume metrology
  • Scientific publications
  • Patent literature
  • Citation impact
  • Dominant technology