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Bibliometric data and actual development in technology life cycles: flaws in assumptions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-53
Number of pages17
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Motivated with the ever growing number of bibliometric trend extrapolation studies, we demonstrate through two technologies how the selection of an upper limit of growth affects the correlation and causality of technology development measured with bibliometric data
We use Gompertz and Fisher-Pry curves to model the technological development of white light emitting diodes and flash memory, and show with extrapolation results from several bibliometric sources how a typical bias is caused in trend extrapolations.
We show how drastic an effect the decision to set an upper bound has on trend extrapolations, to be used as a reference for applications. We recommend carefully to examining the interconnection of actual development and bibliometric activity.
We are motivated by the fact that despite increasing interest in modelling technological data using this method, reports rarely discuss basic assumptions and their effects on outcomes. Since trend extrapolations are applied more widely in different disciplines, the basic limitations of methods should be explicitly expressed.

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland

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