Patent documents as a source of information for scientific and technological studies in the field of applied social sciences

Kátia Cinara Tregnago Cunha, Giandra Volpato, Cristiane Drebes Pedron


Purpose of the study: To analyze how Applied Social Sciences (ASS) field uses patent documents in articles, in addition to non-patent literature.

Methodology/approach: A Systematic Literature Review (SLR) was carried out, by selecting articles statistically analyzed regarding the year of publication, authors’ nationality and knowledge area. Articles from the ASS area which explore technical information of patent documents were qualitatively analyzed as for content and ways patent information was used.

Originality/Relevance: The use of technical information present in patent documents is unusual in articles, in which bibliographic references prevail as the main data source. Knowledge fields with interdisciplinary profile lack specific studies.

Main results: The results obtained point that the ASS area explores little technical patent information, with patentometric studies prevailing. Articles that explore technical information observe on average one patent document, with a matter description based on textual data obtained from the title or abstract.

Theoretical/methodological contributions: Systematization of SLR selected articles that allowed performing relevant quantitative analysis to understand how ASS researchers use information obtained from patent documents (metric analysis or exploration of technical information) for the construction of scientific knowledge.

Social Contributions/Management Contributions: Potential opportunity to offer actions and tools to help students and researchers towards exploring patent bases in order to select documents relevant to the research topic.


patents; systematic literature review; Applied Social Sciences


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