Social network theory and analytic tools have been increasingly used to examine the interaction between science and technology. Recently, researchers have paid attention to the role of publishing inventors, that is, individuals bridging the collaborative networks between authors (co-authorship network) and inventors (co-invention network). Building on this research, we study how publishing inventors’ structural position in the joint co-authorship and co-invention network affects the quality of the inventions to which they contribute. Specifically, we identify publishing inventors who play a pivotal role in holding the two networks together: their removal not only increases the network fragmentation but also disconnects the joint co-authorship and co-invention network. We define these publishing inventors as cutpoints and find them to contribute to inventions of greater quality. We situate the analysis within the context of the emerging field of nanotechnology. The theoretical and managerial implications of the results are discussed.
Daniele Rotolo acknowledges the support of the UK Economic and Social Research Council (award RES-360-25-0076 - Mapping the Dynamics of Emergent Technologies).
Cattani, G. and Rotolo, D. (2014), "An Exploratory Study of the Role of Publishing Inventors in Nanotechnology", Understanding the Relationship Between Networks and Technology, Creativity and Innovation (Technology, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Competitive Strategy, Vol. 13), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 97-122. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-067X(2013)0000013007
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