Developmental tendencies in the Academic Field of Intellectual Property through the Identification of Invisible Colleges

Guadalupe Palacios-Núñez, Gabriel Vélez-Cuartas, Juan D. Botero

The emergence of intellectual property as an academic issue opens a big gate to a cross-disciplinary field. Different disciplines start a dialogue in the framework of the international multilateral treaties in the early 90's. As global economy demands new knowledge on intellectual property, Science grows at its own pace. However, the degree of consolidation of cross-disciplinary academic communities is not clear. In order to know how closely related are these communities, this paper proposes a mixed methodology to find invisible colleges in the production about intellectual property. The articles examined in this paper were extracted from Web of Science. The analyzed period was from 1994 to 2016, taking into account the signature of the agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights in the early 90's. A total amount of 1580 papers were processed through co-citation network analysis. An especial technique, which combine algorithms of community detection and defining population of articles through thresholds of shared references, was applied. In order to contrast the invisible colleges that emerged with the existence of formal institutional relations, it was made a qualitative tracking of the authors with respect to their institutional affiliation, lines of research and meeting places. Both methods show that the subjects of interest can be grouped into 13 different issues related to intellectual property field. Even though most of them are related to Laws and Economics, there are weak linkages between disciplines which could indicate the construction of a cross-disciplinary field.

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