Converting stem doctoral dissertations into patent applications: A study of chemistry, physics, mathematics, and chemical engineering dissertations from CIC institutions

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Abstract

Doctoral candidates may request short-term embargoes on the release of their dissertations in order to apply for patents. This study examines how often inventions described in dissertations in chemical engineering, chemistry, physics, and mathematics are converted into U.S. patent applications, as well as the relationship between dissertation approval dates and patent application filing dates. Dissertations approved in 2008 by the 13 Committee on Institutional Cooperation universities provided the sample populations. Authors were searched as inventors in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Applications Full-text database to identify relevant patent applications. The number of dissertations yielding applications varied by discipline. Mathematics had none; chemical engineering had the most. The majority of applications in chemical engineering and chemistry were filed either prior to or in the same month as the dissertation approval dates; all of those in physics were filed after them. These results will be of interest to librarians, administrators, advisors, and anyone else associated with determining and approving embargoes for dissertations, as well as science and engineering librarians working with graduate students interested in patenting the results of their research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalIssues in Science and Technology Librarianship
Volume2015
Issue number81
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Library and Information Sciences

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