Can the Web give useful information about commercial uses of scientific research?
Invocations of pure and applied science journals in the Web were analysed, focussing on commercial sites, in order to assess whether the Web can yield useful information about university-industry knowledge transfer. On a macro level, evidence was found that applied research was more highly invoked on the non-academic Web than pure research, but only in one of the two fields studied. On a micro level, instances of clear evidence of the transfer of academic knowledge to a commercial setting were sparse. Science research on the Web seems to be invoked mainly for marketing purposes, although high technology companies can invoke published academic research as an organic part of a strategy to prove product effectiveness. It is conjectured that invoking academic research in business Web pages is rarely of clear commercial benefit to a company and that, except in unusual circumstances, benefits from research will be kept hidden to avoid giving intelligence to competitors.
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