University-industry research publications: toward a strategic management tool?

Dr. Robert Tijssen
Chair of Science and Innovation Studies at Leiden University
Thursday, 7 March 2013 - 12:00

A university-industry co-publication (UIC) is a co-authored research publication by academic authors and R&D-staff at business companies. These joint publications represent successful research cooperation, but also reflect research-related interactions and knowledge transfer from academia to business sector partners. An estimated 30,000 to 50,000 UICs are produced annually in the open scientific literature. This is a rich source of objective empirical information on many structural characteristics of these cross-sectoral collaborative relationships.

Macro-level data, aggregated across universities, provides strategic intelligence for cross-institutional and cross-country benchmarking and a source of comparative statistics for government policies on science-based innovation systems or university research systems. In-house information systems of research universities may also benefit from this source in terms of gleaning new insights into collaboration trends, and the distributive profile of UICs across university research units. The geographical location of the corporate sector partners may shed further light on how industrial regionalization and globalization are impacting on their research agenda’s.

UIC data have found their way to various dissemination platforms, including the CWTS University-Industry Research Cooperation Scoreboard with statistics on 800 universities worldwide retrieved from Thomson Reuters Web of Science database. This open source is available on the on the CWTS website (

Country-level data, on the broader category of public-private co-publications, are incorporated in several official statistical reports, including the European Commission’s Innovation Union Scoreboard and Regional Innovation Scoreboard. CWTS is currently engaged in a global survey amongst universities to assess and validate the findings in the UIRC Scoreboard.

Several examples of CWTS-UIC studies, at the mesolevel of universities, will be presented, to draw out general observations and recommendations as to how to go about designing and executing validation studies in order to establish the value of UIC data for strategic management of research universities.


Ciudad Politécnica de la Innovación
Edificio 8E, Acceso J, Planta 4ª (Sala Descubre. Cubo Rojo)
Universidad Politécnica de Valencia | Camino de Vera s/n

Short CV: 

Robert Tijssen is Chair of Science and Innovation Studies at Leiden University in the The Netherlands, as well as a visiting professor at Stellenbosch University (South Africa). He is board member at his institute, Center for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) at Leiden University, a visiting fellow at Leiden University’s Den Hague Campus, and a member of staff at the Netherlands Review Committee Higher Education and Research. His academic membership includes the board of the European Network of Indicators Designers (ENID), as well as membership of the editorial board of the international journal Research Evaluation.

His academic interests and research activities are broad and include:

  • science, technology and innovation studies
  • bibliometrics and scientometrics
  • evaluation, monitoring and benchmarking of research performance
  • science-innovation linkages and interfaces, university-industry R&D cooperation
  • patents, intellectual property rights
  • knowledge transfer and research commercialisation
  • regionalization and globalization of science
  • higher education policy, science and innovation policy

During the last 15 years Robert has acted as a management consultant to various public sector organizations, the European Commission, private foundations, research councils, government agencies, and university boards. He is contributor to the EC's Innovation Union Scoreboard and the Regional Innovation Scoreboard. Robert also contributes to the U-Multirank classification system of universities worldwide.

Robert runs the University-Industry Research Cooperation Scoreboard at CWTS, a unique web-based publicly accessible information system with statistical data across 500 major research-intensive universities worldwide (

His scientific publication output includes some 50 research articles in a variety of international peer-reviewed journals: Nature, Research Policy, Evaluation Review, Research Evaluation, Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, Scientometrics, Journal of Information Science, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. During the last 10 years he has published a series of research articles on quantitative studies of cooperation and interaction between public sector science and private sector R&D.

An extended biography and list of publications is available at