Analyzing an academic field: the case of Russian patents
Keywords:scientific field analysis, sociology of science, methods of sociology, inventors, patent landscape, stabilometry
The authors analyze a sample of 60 Russian patents over the 1993 to 2016 period in a specific scientific discipline defined as ‘posturography’, or ‘stabilometry’. The analysis reveals the most significant inventors in terms of the number of registered patents. Out of 128 authors, 43 participated in the creation of two or more patents. Twentyfive authors have two patents, and 18 persons have three or more patents. The activity of the most productive inventors is highly correlated with the location of manufacturers of scientific instruments. Patents of private organizations are more frequently supported than that of the state-owned organizations. The paper provides figures related to «abandoned» patents. The analysis of the inventions’ content points to their different academic value. Certain patents are a priori impracticable or based on misconceptions. Interpretation of quantitative and expert analysis of the patents’ sample includes the «instrumentalist» idea, implying that the quality of available methodological tools affects the attainable results causing the impact of small groups on the whole scientific field. The authors discuss the hidden implications of the patent activity not solely limited to the commercial use of the inventions.