Do Firms Publish? A Multi-Sectoral Analysis
41 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2018 Last revised: 13 Feb 2019
Date Written: October 2018
We examine corporate publishing-i.e. firms' involvement in the production of scientific publications-with two research questions. First, why do firms publish? Through systematic literature review, we propose a framework of five incentives for firms to publish: (i) accessing external knowledge and resources; (ii) attracting and retaining researchers; (iii) signalling and reputation building; (iv) supporting IP strategies; and (v) supporting comercialization strategies. Second, how does firms' engagement in publishing differ across sectors? Variation in corporate has not yet been comprehensively characterized in the literature. We present an emperical analysis of the publication activity of a global sample of 2500 firms (and the 570000 directly owned subsidiaries of these firms) operating in 20 industrial sectors. We find that corporate publishing is widespread, though considerable heterogenity exists within and between sectors. Most firms (84%) in our sample contributed to at least one publication from 2011 to 2015. The number of firms' publications grew over the observation period (2.3% on a yearly basis), though not as fast as the global science output in general. Firms' publications are often co-authored with researchers at academic institutions (58%) and are cited more than expected (about 12% firms articles are within the top 10% most cited articles). We conclude by proposing a taxonomy of sectors based on their R&D investment intensity and publication activity.
Keywords: corporate publishing, incentives to publish, firm researchers, knowledge disclosure, defensive publishing, scientific publications, taxonomy
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