Reliance on Science in Patenting

35 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2019 Last revised: 8 Apr 2019

See all articles by Matt Marx

Matt Marx

Boston University Questrom School of Business

Aaron Fuegi

Boston University

Date Written: February 20, 2019


Citations from patents to other patents have frequently been employed in studies of innovation, but these citations have many limitations. By contrast, citations from patents to non-patent materials—especially scientific articles—promise to be more useful but are much more difficult to discern given that they appear in patent documents as unstructured text. We present methods for automatically linking patents to scientific papers from 1800-2018 and share the results publicly. Moreover, we characterize the performance of our algorithms and present ROC curves so that researchers can select data according to their sensitivity to false positives vs. false negatives. Our hope is that publicly-available patent citations to science fuel research on innovation, knowledge diffusion, technology commercialization, and other topics.

Keywords: knowledge diffusion, patents, innovation, science, technology transfer

JEL Classification: O3,O31,O33

Suggested Citation

Marx, Matt and Fuegi, Aaron, Reliance on Science in Patenting (February 20, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Matt Marx (Contact Author)

Boston University Questrom School of Business ( email )

595 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02466
United States

Aaron Fuegi

Boston University ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States

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