Publista: Standardisation in general, and in the context of publishing and patenting

Start of the project: 01-Aug-2017 - End of the project: 31-Aug-2019

Standards are formalised and explicit definitions of processes and objects which are produced and maintained by a variety of national and international standardisation organisations. The formulation of standards and their adoption by companies thus play, like patents, an important part in the processes variously termed "innovation" or "technology transfer". For regional clusters and partnerships of firms, research institutes and universities, standards represent one possible route for the internationalisation of innovative products and entry to foreign markets. Their role in technology development, innovation and trade has been a long-standing topic of research in both economics and science and technology studies. The interrelation between research and standardisation has also been the subject of studies looking primarily at the role of standards in technology transfer. What remains unclear, though, is their role as a carrier of prestige for scientists and researchers, i.e. more precisely, their significance as bearers of references to scientific publications, as well as their significance as objects to which scientific publications refer. Given that previous research has shown that the closer a research activity is located to market activities, the more important standards become compared to scientific publications, the Publista project investigates the connections between standards, standardisation and scientific publication. The project sheds light on how patenting and scientific publication are a means by which the results of scientific research are disseminated, used in and incorporated into the activities of firms and research organisations.

Publista starts out from a bibliometric analysis of references to scientific publications within published standards, and will continue with an investigation of referencing of standards in new scientific work. This analysis is complemented by qualitative investigations on the role standardisation work and being referenced in a standard plays as a source of prestige, how researchers perceive the value of such activities, and the role standards could play as means of promoting the internationalisation of large scale research projects.

The project is being conducted within the Federal Ministry for Science and Education's support for the development of regional technology and innovation clusters, with particular reference to efforts to increase the internationalisation of these clusters' activities. Later stages of the Publista project will thus work with members of these regional clusters and seek to develop materials to support and strategically guide their activities. The project is being conducted jointly by the Chair of Innovation Economics at the Technical University Berlin and the „Research System and Science Dynamics“ group of the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW).

Lead Researcher

Alex Fenton
Alex Fenton Lead Researcher +49 30 2064177-23

In cooperation with

TU Berlin