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Research Diversification and Impact: The Case of National Nanoscientific Development

33 Pages Posted: 25 Nov 2013 Last revised: 1 Aug 2015

Aashish Mehta

University of California, Santa Barbara

Patrick Herron

Duke University

Cong Cao

University of Nottingham - School of Contemporary Chinese Studies

Timothy Lenoir

Duke University

Date Written: May 15, 2015

Abstract

Newcomer nations, promoted by developmental states, have poured resources into nanotechnology development, and have dramatically increased their nanotechnology research influence, as measured by research citation. Some achieved these gains by producing significantly higher impact papers rather than by simply producing more papers. Those nations gaining the most in relative strength did not build specializations in particular subfields, but instead diversified their nanotechnology research portfolios and emulated the global research mix. We show this using a panel dataset covering the nanotechnology research output of 63 countries over 12 years. The inverse relationship between research specialization and impact is robust to several ways of measuring both variables, the introduction of controls for country identity, the volume of nanoscientific research output (a proxy for a country’s scientific capability) and home‐country bias in citation, and various attempts to reweight and split the samples of countries and journals involved. The results are consistent with scientific advancement by newcomer nations being better accomplished through diversification than specialization.

Keywords: Diversification; specialization; impact; nanotechnology; nanoscience; developmental state

JEL Classification: O10, O25, O30

Suggested Citation

Mehta, Aashish and Herron, Patrick and Cao, Cong and Lenoir, Timothy, Research Diversification and Impact: The Case of National Nanoscientific Development (May 15, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2359278 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2359278

Aashish Mehta (Contact Author)

University of California, Santa Barbara ( email )

Santa Barbara, CA 93106
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.global.ucsb.edu/people/aashish-mehta

Patrick Herron

Duke University ( email )

Information Science + Studies
Smith Whse Bay 11-A241, 114 S. Buchanan Blvd.
Durham, NC NC 27708-0766
United States
9196680276 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://jenkins.duke.edu/patrick.php

Cong Cao

University of Nottingham - School of Contemporary Chinese Studies ( email )

China House
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD
United Kingdom

Timothy Lenoir

Duke University ( email )

100 Fuqua Drive
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

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