The citation impact of social sciences and humanities upon patentable technology

Felix de Moya-Anegon, Carmen Lopez-Illescas, Vicente Guerrero-Bote, Henk F. Moed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This paper examines the citation impact of papers published in scientific-scholarly journals upon patentable technology, as reflected in examiner- or inventor-given references in granted patents. It analyses data created by SCImago Research Group, linking PATSTAT’s scientific non-patent references (SNPRs) to source documents indexed in Scopus. The frequency of patent citations to journal papers is calculated per discipline, year, institutional sector, journal subject category, and for “top” journals. PATSTAT/Scopus-based statistics are compared to those derived from Web of Science/USPTO linkage. A detailed assessment is presented of the technological impact of research publications in social sciences and humanities (SSH). Several subject fields perform well in terms of the number of citations from patents, especially Library and Information Science, Language and Linguistics, Education, and Law, but many of the most cited journals find themselves in the interface between SSH and biomedical or natural sciences. Analyses of the titles of citing patents and cited papers are presented that shed light upon the cognitive content of patent citations. It is proposed to develop more advanced indicators of citation impact of papers upon patents, and ways to combine citation counts with citation content and context analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1665-1687
Number of pages23
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Humanities
  • Patent citations
  • Science base of technology
  • Social sciences
  • Technological impact


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