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Inventor Team Size as a Predictor of the Future Citation Impact of Patents
Scientometrics (2015)
  • Dr. Anthony Breitzman, Rowan University
  • Patrick Thomas
Forward citations are widely recognized as a useful measure of the impact of patents upon subsequent technological developments. However, an inherent characteristic of forward citations is that they take time to accumulate. This makes them valuable for retrospective impact evaluations, but less helpful for prospective forecasting exercises. To overcome this, it would be desirable to have indicators that forecast future citations at the time a patent is issued. In this paper, we outline one such indicator, based on the size of the inventor teams associated with patents. We demonstrate that, on average, patents with eight or more co-inventors are cited significantly more frequently in their first 5 years than peer patents with fewer inventors. This result holds true across technologies, assignee type, citation source (examiner versus applicant), and after self-citations are accounted for. We hypothesize that inventor team size may be a reflection of the amount of resources committed by an organization to a given innovation, with more researchers attached to innovations regarded as having particular promise or value.
  • Inventor teams,
  • Patents,
  • Citations,
  • Prospective indicators
Publication Date
March, 2015
Citation Information
Anthony Breitzman and Patrick Thomas. "Inventor Team Size as a Predictor of the Future Citation Impact of Patents" Scientometrics Vol. 103 Iss. 2 (2015) p. 631 - 647
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