Knowledge transfer from technology to science: The longevity of paper-to-patent citations

Tzu Kun Hsiao, Vetle I. Torvik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Citations between papers and patents reflect transfer of knowledge between science and technology. Patents commonly cite papers but papers rarely cite patents. Here, we identified 6,033 paper-to-patent citations in a collection of 1.5 million PubMed Central open access articles. These citing papers and cited patents contained 132,536 paper-to-paper, 200,339 patent-to-patent, and 36,342 patent-to-paper citations. These four citation datasets were used to model the temporal patterns of knowledge transfer within and across patents and papers. We found that the cited patents are generally much older than the cited papers, regardless of whether they are cited by papers or patents. Discipline, affiliation type, and self-citation also affect the age of the cited papers and patents. The recency of the citations partly explains the asymmetry in citations between papers and patents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-421
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Citation Analysis
  • Knowledge Transfer
  • Time-Lag

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Library and Information Sciences


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