Peer-based knowledge validation: a hurdle to the flow of academic science to inventors


Strategy and Entrepreneurship

Publishing details

Social Sciences Research Network

Authors / Editors

Bikard M

Publication Year



Despite the academic norm of openness, practitioners have repeatedly complained that promising academic discoveries are not being exploited by inventors. I argue that this disconnect might be in part explained by considering a hurdle to knowledge dissemination that has received little attention to date. The work of academic researchers is validated by their peers rather than by inventors, leading to ambiguity about the value of scientific knowledge for technology development. I test this proposition by examining inventors’ propensity to exploit scientific knowledge published by academic and industrial scientists in the case of simultaneous discoveries. Analysis of inventors’ referencing patterns to a set of “paper twins” indicates that inventors are less likely to exploit a discovery if it is published by an academic institution. Taken together, the results suggest that the peer-based knowledge validation process in academia creates uncertainty about the reliability and relevance of academic science as a map for technology development.


Social Sciences Research Network