The emergence of social science research on nanotechnology

Philip Shapira, Jan Youtie, Alan L. Porter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines the development of social science literature focused on the emerging area of nanotechnology. It is guided by the exploratory proposition that early social science work on emerging technologies will draw on science and engineering literature on the technology in question to frame its investigative activities, but as the technologies and societal investments in them progress, social scientists will increasingly develop and draw on their own body of literature. To address this proposition the authors create a database of nanotechnology-social science literature by merging articles from the Web of Science's Social Science Citation Index and Arts and Humanities Citation Index with articles from Scopus. The resulting database comprises 308 records. The findings suggest that there are multiple dimensions of cited literature and that social science citations of other social scientists' works have increased since 2005. © 2010 Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-611
Number of pages16
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Nanotechnology
  • Scientometrics
  • Societal implications


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