Exploring the emerging research streams in UIC field at a bibliometrics perspective

Mei H.C. Ho
National Taiwan University of Science & Technology

John Liu
National Taiwan University of Science & Technology

How academic resources can be utilized in more different disciplines is a critical issue for many different stakeholders, including policy makers, university, and industrial actors. University-Industry cooperation (UIC) has been a popular issue since policy incentives are initiated to encourage the interactions between universities and industries in 1980s. According to the findings in the recent decades, many successful cases hve been applied to explain how university and industry create mutual benefit during the cooperation. As the growing discussion in UIC field, the purpose of this study is to explore the recent development in UIC field and investigate the flows of UIC scientific knowledge.
To observe the knowledge trajectory path in UIC field, we c collect scientific publication data from Web of Science database. We build up a query that includes keywords about University-Industry cooperation, e.g. UIC or academic entrepreneurship. We only select the publications after 2005 as we observed the publications after 2005 are in an increasing trend in publication distribution. After excluding conference papers and book chapters, we apply the final sample, 894 relevant papers, for further analysis. From these scientific publications, we extract the citation information, and construct the knowledge network to explain the development in UIC field.
First, we apply main path analysis to construct the evolutionary knowledge path of the UIC relevant studies. We take SPLC (Search path link count) to find the traversal count of each link in the knowledge network. And, the key-route method is used to search the critical path. The method starts from the certain number (e.g. N) of key-route, and further search backward from the start node of these specified (N) key-route until a source is hit and forward from the end node of the same key-route until a sink is hit. The key-route N main path is obtained by combining the backward search results and the forward searching results. Secondly, to identify the existence of different scientific topics among all the literature, we also explore the emerging themes in recent years by enlarging the main paths. From the new extending papers shown on main path, we can identify the critical recent research fronts in the field of UIC studies.
Based on the dataset, we find that the US, UK, IT, ES, and NL are the top five countries that have produced UIC studies more than other countries. In the top 10 countries, China and South Korea are the only two countries in the list. The knowledge flows mostly from the US and western European countries to recent Asia case study. By the keyroute 10 main path analysis, we observed that the evolving of knowledge path includes different stages. Before 2011, there exist two different topics in UIC field. One is about university spin-off and the other focuses on explaining the balance between academic research and UIC project. After 2014, the main path has come to discuss the identity of TTO (Technology Transfer Office), and sustainable relationship in UIC projects.
By enlarging main path to 200 routes, we could identify several emerging theme in the recent decade. First, a “Resource-Base-View in UIC” group emphasizes the importance of resources from university, and explains how university resources and TTO officer improve the performance of university spin-off firms. Secondly, the publications in “Ecosystem and network of U-I collaboration” group explains how UIC grows in the entrepreneurial ecosystem and apply network concept to show the development of U-I partnerships. Next in the third group includes many discussions about the development (e.g. mechanisms, determinants, etc.) of “Academic entrepreneurship”. The fourth theme emerging in the most latest period focuses on the “Sustainability of U-I partnership” , which scholars investigate the issues at the views of different levels, e.g. system level or project level. The result shows that the focuses UIC studies in recent 10 years have moved to a diverse discussion in building ecosystem and sustainability for the development of university-industry collaboration.