In-Text Patent Citations: A User’s Guide
We introduce, validate, and provide a public database of a new measure of the knowledge inventors draw on: scientific references in patent specifications. These references are common and algorithmically extractable. Critically, they are very different from the “front page” prior art commonly used to proxy for inventor knowledge. Only 24% of front page citations to academic articles are in the patent text, and 31% of in-text citations are on the front page. We explain these differences by describing the legal rules and practice governing citation. Empirical validations suggest that in-text citations appear to more accurately measure real knowledge flows, consistent with their legal role.
Parts of this project were supported by the Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health (OD), Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) and the National Institute on Aging (AG) under Award Number R24 AG048059 to the National Bureau of Economic Research. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH or the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Kevin A. Bryan & Yasin Ozcan & Bhaven Sampat, 2020. "In-text patent citations: A user's guide," Research Policy, vol 49(4). citation courtesy of