Research Policy (RES POLICY)

Publisher: Elsevier

Journal description

Research and development (R&D) activities today absorb very considerable resources, and have great influence on the policies of industrial firms, government departments, universities and even whole nations. Research Policy is a multi-disciplinary journal devoted to the exploration of the policy problems posed by these R&D activities, and in particular their interaction with economic, social and political processes. Its papers are written by both academic observers and practitioners of the R&D process. It is deliberately international in scope and reaches an audience of academics, industrialists and government officials.Main Subjects Covered:Innovation, Company Strategy and Industrial Competition; Project Selection and R&D Management; National Policies towards Science and Technology; Social and Economic Effects of Science and Technology; Policies for Basic Research; International Cooperation; Developing Countries; Literature Surveys.

Current impact factor: 2.85

Impact Factor Rankings

2015 Impact Factor Available summer 2015
2009 Impact Factor 2.261

Additional details

5-year impact 3.98
Cited half-life 8.80
Immediacy index 0.26
Eigenfactor 0.01
Article influence 1.42
Website Research Policy website
Other titles Research policy (Online), RP
ISSN 0048-7333
OCLC 39166783
Material type Document, Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details


  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Pre-print allowed on any website or open access repository
    • Voluntary deposit by author of authors post-print allowed on authors' personal website, or institutions open scholarly website including Institutional Repository, without embargo, where there is not a policy or mandate
    • Deposit due to Funding Body, Institutional and Governmental policy or mandate only allowed where separate agreement between repository and the publisher exists.
    • Permitted deposit due to Funding Body, Institutional and Governmental policy or mandate, may be required to comply with embargo periods of 12 months to 48 months .
    • Set statement to accompany deposit
    • Published source must be acknowledged
    • Must link to journal home page or articles' DOI
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
    • NIH Authors articles will be submitted to PubMed Central after 12 months
    • Publisher last contacted on 18/10/2013
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Successful innovation depends on knowledge – technological, strategic and market related. In this paper we explore the role and interaction of firms’ existing knowledge stocks and current knowledge flows in shaping innovation success. The paper contributes to our understanding of the determinants of firms’ innovation outputs and provides new information on the relationship between knowledge stocks, as measured by patents, and innovation output indicators. Our analysis uses innovation panel data relating to plants’ internal knowledge creation, external knowledge search and innovation outputs. Firm-level patent data is matched with this plant-level innovation panel data to provide a measure of firms’ knowledge stock. Two substantive conclusions follow. First, existing knowledge stocks have weak negative rather than positive impacts on firms’ innovation outputs, reflecting potential core-rigidities or negative path dependencies rather than the accumulation of competitive advantages. Second, knowledge flows derived from internal investment and external search dominate the effect of existing knowledge stocks on innovation performance. Both results emphasize the importance of firms’ knowledge search strategies. Our results also re-emphasize the potential issues which arise when using patents as a measure of innovation.
    Research Policy 09/2015; 44(7). DOI:10.1016/j.respol.2015.03.003
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    ABSTRACT: Factor and cluster analysis are used to identify different methods that public sector agencies in Europe use to innovate, based on data from a 2010 survey of 3273 agencies. The analyses identify three types of innovative agencies: bottom-up, knowledge-scanning, and policy-dependent. The distribution of bottom-up agencies across European countries is positively correlated with average per capita incomes while the distribution of knowledge-scanning agencies is negatively correlated with income. In contrast, there is no consistent pattern by country in the distribution of policy-dependent agencies. Regression results that control for agency characteristics find that innovation methods are significantly correlated with the beneficial outcomes of innovation, with bottom-up and knowledge-scanning agencies out-performing policy-dependent agencies.
    Research Policy 09/2015; 42(7). DOI:10.1016/j.respol.2015.04.007
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    ABSTRACT: This paper illustrates a small extent of co-evolution of IPR regime and technological capability of Thai automotive firms. This study analysed the primary data on Thai IP-related law, regulation, firms’ R&D and innovation surveys, patent registration, court litigation, and conducted interviews for case studies of firms, policy makers, and university professors specialised in the automotive industry. The results show that there are some atmospheric changes in terms of increasing awareness of importance of patent after the regime became stronger. The stronger patent regime has slight impacts on the extent and nature of knowledge transfer between transnational corporations and local part suppliers. Last, the stronger patent regime has impacts on firms climbing up technological ladders from production to more sophisticated activities.
    Research Policy 09/2015; 44(7). DOI:10.1016/j.respol.2015.04.001
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    ABSTRACT: This paper identifies different patterns of latecomers’ technological learning in developing complex products systems (CoPS). The experiences of South Korea, China, and Brazil in military aircraft development are compared to explain the learning process in attaining indigenous technological capability. The military aircraft development programs involving international technology transfer agreements have been documented to investigate the technological learning patterns. We find different technology acquisition modes determined by latecomers’ focus of knowledge-base: technological for “make” and production for “buy”. We also find that these modes may influence the process of learning-by-doing. In addition,we find how the role of foreign partners influences technology acquisition mode. Whereas an active role results in co-production or co-development arrangement, a passive role leads to the vitalization of reverse engineering. We also shed light on the role of government policy initiatives that facilitate technological learning. Lastly, this paper extensively documented the successful technological learning in South Korea’s T-50 and Brazil’s AMX joint venture projects.
    Research Policy 09/2015; 44(7):1296-1313. DOI:10.1016/j.respol.2015.03.007
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    ABSTRACT: This paper examines nested, multilevel innovation policies paying particular attention to U.S. federal and state small business innovation research programs. With 45 states offering a range of SBIR Outreach and SBIR Match programs specifically designed to enhance the federal SBIR program, such programs provide a useful lens for examining the nature of the multilevel innovation policy mix. The contributions of this article are twofold. First, the article provides theoretical motivation for multilevel innovation policy responses placing emphasis on positive policy responses in which state policies enhance federal policies. Second, the article provides an empirical analysis examining the multilevel factors associated with a state government response that augments the federal SBIR program. The results from this analysis indicate these state policy actions are associated with a confluence of multilevel factors driven not only from top to down federal actions, but also from bottom to up, internal state political and economic factors as well as from lateral pressures from peer states.
    Research Policy 09/2015; 44(7). DOI:10.1016/j.respol.2015.04.002
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    ABSTRACT: The main aim of the paper is to examine the drivers of university–firm R&D collaboration while at the same time assessing the determinants of innovation in a low-tech industry. This includes analysing firm R&D collaborations with partners different from universities.
    Research Policy 09/2015; 44(7). DOI:10.1016/j.respol.2015.03.006
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    ABSTRACT: We utilise conceptual frameworks from political science on agenda setting, policy entrepreneurship and the role of the European Commission to understand the emergence of a new research theme (security) under the Seventh Framework Programme. We open-up the “black box” of the European Commission and in so doing examine the controversies that emerged within the Commission as well as the critical role of mid-ranking officials in identifying and utilising a political window of opportunity provided by the 9/11 attacks on the United States. We emphasise ambiguity as a key feature in the complex process of framing and mobilisation and develop the idea of ambiguity as a multi-dimensional and dynamic phenomenon that changes its nature and function over the different stages of the agenda setting process. We argue that the understanding of science and technology policy making can benefit by applying this agenda setting approach and its emphasis on the origins of policy, the agenda setting process and the role of policy entrepreneurship.
    Research Policy 07/2015; 44(6). DOI:10.1016/j.respol.2014.12.008
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this paper is to investigate the process of involvement in open online communities producing knowledge, via the link between the first contribution and the level of contribution reached. While most studies consider the career of contribution following the first contribution, we focus on what happened before and during the first contribution. We challenge the fact that becoming a core member starts with peripheral contributive activities and results from a continuous learning process, as explained by the theory of community of practice. On the contrary, and coherent with epistemic community theory, our results, based on 13,000 answers to a survey on the use of, and contributions to Wikipédia, show that the future level of users’ involvement depends on the period of time between the discovery of Wikipedia and the first contribution (negative effect), and of the effort made in the first contribution (positive effect). Implications for management are also discussed.
    Research Policy 07/2015; 44(6). DOI:10.1016/j.respol.2015.03.001
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    ABSTRACT: In recent years, the debate about the marginality of women in academic science has been extended to academics’ engagement with industry and their commercial efforts. Analyzing multi-source data for a large sample of UK physical and engineering scientists and employing a matching technique, this study suggests women academics to engage less and in different ways than their male colleagues of similar status in collaboration activities with industry. We then argue – and empirical assess – these differences can be mitigated by the social context in which women scientists operate, including the presence of women in the local work setting and their wider discipline, and the institutional support for women’s careers in their organization. We explore the implications of these findings for policies to support women’s scientific and technical careers and engagement with industry.
    Research Policy 07/2015; 4(6). DOI:10.1016/j.respol.2015.01.014
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    ABSTRACT: This paper examines the strategies of a local supplier of high technology capital goods (or complex product systems, CoPS) in a middle-income developing economy, Iran, in its efforts to acquire technology and catch up with market leaders. The study draws upon both the development and business strategy literatures to develop a novel conceptual framework of latecomer strategy which is then applied to the Iranian firm engaged in the design, production and implementation of electricity generation systems. Although exploratory, the study shows that the firm was able to exploit its linkages with local clients, favorable government policies and a growing domestic demand to overcome barriers to entry and learn how to manufacture and design complex power generation systems. This paper contributes to the catch-up literature by highlighting the insights that a latecomer strategy perspective can provide into catch-up in CoPS noting, in particular, differences between strategies of catch-up in the Iranian case with those of Asian electronics and complex goods in Latin America, and the reasons behind an imbalanced progress in accumulation of production capabilities and technological change capabilities. The evidence shows the importance of marketing capabilities and strategy in CoPS in order for the transition to leadership to take place. Implications for policy and strategy are discussed and opportunities for further research are outlined.
    Research Policy 07/2015; 44(6). DOI:10.1016/j.respol.2015.02.005