, Volume 115, Issue 2, pp 893–911 | Cite as

The mutually beneficial relationship of patents and scientific literature: topic evolution in nanoscience

  • Yashuang Qi
  • Na Zhu
  • Yujia Zhai
  • Ying Ding


Patent and scientific literature are the fundamental sources of innovation in knowledge creation and transfer activities. Establishing and understanding the complex relationships between them can help scientists and stakeholders to predict and promote the innovation process. In this paper, we consider the domain of nanoscience, using a large scale collection of patents and scientific literature to find evolution patterns and distinctive keywords of each topic in a particular period. By extracting the semantic-level topics from a dataset of nearly 810,000 scientific literature from Web of Science and 160,000 patents from Derwent, the results reveal that the degree of topic popularity for both innovative platforms shows a totally different situation during the last 20 years from 1995 to 2015. In addition, the top keywords of patents and scientific literature, representing the topic content of concern, have changed respectively as time went on. Not only our analysis can be used for confirming existing topics in nanoscience, but it also gives new views on the relationship between scientific literature and patents.


Nanoscience Lead–lag analysis Patent Scientific literature 

Mathematics Subject Classification


JEL Classification




This work is supported in part by Major Projects of National Social Science Foundation of China (No. 14ZDA063).


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Information Resource Management, School of BusinessNankai UniversityTianjinChina
  2. 2.Department of Information Resource Management, School of ManagementTianjin Normal UniversityTianjinChina
  3. 3.School of Informatics and ComputingIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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