The evolution of the commercialization of Knowledge with New Approach of Referenced Publication Years Spectroscopy (RPYS).

Author:Biranvand, Ali


Knowledge is the main factor to create added value, wealth generation, economic growth, and comprehensive development in current societies. The approach of modern societies in generating capital from knowledge, and to some extent, using knowledge to reach competitive advantage and playing a role in comprehensive development is clearly visible. The tendency to generate capital from knowledge has led to the commercialization of knowledge in various forms. Commercialization are applied under various titles and in various fields, such as commercialization of technology, commercialization of research results, commercialization of innovation, entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial university, knowledge profitability and the like. Due to the fluidity of the field of commercialization of knowledge and its extension to other fields of human knowledge, it is no longer possible to discuss the issues of commercializing knowledge inclusively in one or more specific fields of knowledge, and often basic sciences. Knowledge of applied vocabulary, historical roots, scientific peaks, effective sources of information, and individual thinkers in the field of commercialization of knowledge is one of the factors that can help to better identify the works and ideas in this field and their impact on other fields of human knowledge. Wray (2013) believes that bibliographic data has the potential to reveal the nature and structure of scientific research communities (Soheil & Khasseh, 2015).

One of the modern methods of discovering the historical roots of the scientific fields, is the quantitative method of "Referenced Publication Years Spectroscopy" or RPYS, which has been introduced by Marx, Bornmann, Barth & Leydesdorf (2014) in the field of scientific historiography.

The method of RPYS is based on the analysis of the frequency of references that are cited in the scientific production of specific fields, and also based on the year of publication. The analysis of the list of references cited with the emphasis on the year of the publication of these resources could result in the disclosure of historical and prominent roots in a specific research field.

In this method, the roots can be represented by the creation of, so that the peak points of these curves depict the years when the published works of that year have been frequently cited. Once these factors with important role in the formation of the relevant field are identified, it is necessary that the published works of each year be individually examined and their contribution to the formation of the field under study be determined (Khasseh & Mokhtarpour , 2016; Marx et al., 2014).

Using RPYS, it is possible to identify the historical roots of research fields and to investigate the effect of these origins on current research. This method is based on the analysis of the frequency of citation to references) in the works of a particular research field according to the year of publication.

RPYS is able to extend its review to decades or even centuries, and thus better capture the evolution of a field. Due to novelty of the discovery of the historical roots of the scientific fields by RPYS, few number of research has been conducted by this method. The research discovering the historical roots of scientific fields are as follow:

Leydesdorff & et al. (2014), analyzed the indexed documents in the Web of Science on the subject of scientism using the RPYS. The results of their research was published in an accredited journal and led to the identification of some infrastructure works in the field of scientometric.

More precisely, the results indicated that the early roots of scientometry were formed between the 1920s and 1950s, and in particular under the influence of individuals such as Lotka in 1926, and thus intellectually influenced and gradually developed by topics such as the history of science (de Solla Price), a bibliographic couple (Michael Kessler), and a citation profile (Eugene Garfield).

Using RPYS, Marx et al. (2014) carried out a similar study on scientific productions with the topic of graphene and solar cells, and identified and analyzed the significant effects in these two fields.

Marx & Bornmann (2014) conducted a research showing that RPYS method can be used to discover the origin of scientific fiction. They investigated one of the bird species by RPYS method. It is known as Galapagos or Darwin finches which includes 15 species of sparrows but it's still unclear to which clan or subfamily these birds belong to. The results of the research showed that a book was written by Sulloway (1947), which was the most--citied old work in this field. Scientifically, Sulloway is the first person to discover the origin of the legend of Darwinian finches.

Wray and Bornmann (2015) used RPYS in the main journals of the philosophy of science. They came to the conclusion that most of the influential works in this field, unlike the basic sciences, had appeared in the form of the book. The results revealed 7 peaks between the years 1900 and 1970.

Soheili and Khasseh (2015) analyzed the list of available resources in 15663 scientific records related to information behavior using a software specific to RPYS. Their findings indicated that in the nineteenth century, the field of information behavior witnessed three important peaks occurring in 1876, 1879, and 1890, respectively.

Moreover, between 1900 and 1969, six peaks in the field of information behavior occurred in 1948, 1954, 1957, 1960, 1965, and 1967, respectively. After identifying and analyzing the influential works published in the aforementioned years, the researchers believe that the field of information behavior, has been affected by psychology and, to some extent, quantitative and qualitative methodological works (such as grounded theory and critical incident). Additionally, some theories and theoretical works have also influenced this field (Soheili & Khasseh, 2015).

Biranvand and Khasseh (2016) have carried out a research by scientometric method to investigate historical roots of Semantic Web. 4831 retrieved records have been analyzed using PRYS software. The distribution of the number of references available in the records of the field of Semantic Web based on the year of publication shows that, in the twentieth century, the field of Semantic Web witnessed six important peaks in 1962, 1965, 1975, 1979, 1983, and 1995 respectively. Generally and according to the findings of this research, it seems that the field of Semantic Web has been influenced by works of various topics such as linguistics, knowledge representation, and artificial intelligence.

Results of the research carried out by RPYS approach suggests the identification of fundamental and cited works in various fields. Identifying influential works and influential authors has a profound effect on the improving fundamental concepts and the formation of new works. For this reason, despite the novelty of RPYS approach to identify outstanding works and influential authors in each field, we are witnessing an ever-increasing research and introduction of scientific peaks on various subjects.

The present study aims to identify the course of scientific evolution in the field of commercialization of knowledge with the RPYS approach and to determine the time of occurrence of important peaks in the field of commercialization of knowledge, to determine the effective works in formation of scientific peaks in the field of commercialization of knowledge, and to determine the most--cited authors in the field of commercialization of knowledge during this research.

Methodology of research

This research has applied scientometrics to investigate the historical roots of the commercialization of knowledge. Initial data was extracted from Web of Science (WoS). The retrieved records ranges from 1945 to the end of 2016, which were recorded in the WoS citation indexes.

This period of time was chosen to retrieve the knowledge of the commercialization of knowledge, because it covered the particular version of WoS version from 1945 onward. The date to extract information from the WoS will be 2016-12-10. In the analysis of the resulting information, the...

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