Mapping the field: a bibliometric analysis of the literature on university–industry collaborations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

121 Citations (Scopus)
367 Downloads (Pure)


The substantial acknowledgement of university–industry (U–I) collaborations as promotor of economic progress, innovativeness and competitiveness fostered a continuous research engagement. At the same time, the U–I literature experienced a notable increase in the past decade, transforming into a multi-faceted and ambiguous research field, characterised by highly complex interlinks. The recent transformation hinders a comprehensive understanding of the latest developments in research directions and their clear delineation. Therefore, the purpose of this bibliometric literature review is to examine the evolution of the field and identify the primary emerging patterns. This paper employs co-citation analysis and bibliographic coupling techniques to analyse the U–I publications dataset. The findings indicate that the U–I collaborations research can be systematically clustered, resulting in an interconnected ecosystem consisting of three levels: individual, organisational and institutional, respectively. Thus, this review presents the immense contribution that the analysis of U–I collaborations makes to various research streams. Building on these findings and employing qualitative content analysis on the clustered publications, the paper develops a research agenda that encourages future investigations of previously overlooked features of U–I collaborations in general, and their role across levels of analysis, contexts and stages of the collaboration process in particular.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)916-947
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of technology transfer
Issue number3
Early online date7 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • University–industry
  • Bibliometrics
  • Co-citation analysis
  • Bibliographic coupling
  • academic entrepreneurship
  • Technology transfer
  • Knowledge transfer


Dive into the research topics of 'Mapping the field: a bibliometric analysis of the literature on university–industry collaborations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this