Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Where does nanotechnology belong in the map of science?

By analysing publication and citation data, it is possible to explore the relationships between nanoscience and nanotechnology and the rest of science and technology.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: The position of nanoscience and nanotechnology over a base map of science.
Figure 2: Fields of science that are cited by nanotechnology papers.


  1. Roco, M. C. & Bainbridge, W. S. Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance: Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information Technology and Cognitive Science (Kluwer Academic, 2003).

    Book  Google Scholar 

  2. Roco, M. C. J. Nanopart. Res. 10, 11–29 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 


  4. Kostoff, R. N., Koytcheff, R. G. & Lau, C. G. Y. J. Nanopart. Res. 9, 701–724 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Kostoff, R. N., Koytcheff, R. G. & Lau, C. G. Y. DTIC Technical Report ADA461930 (Defense Technical Information Center, 2007); available at <>.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Eto, H. Scientometrics 58, 5–33 (2003).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Meyer, M. Scientometrics 70, 779–810 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Schummer, J. Scientometrics 59, 425–465 (2004).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Porter, A. L., Youtie, J., Shapira, P. & Schoeneck, D. J. J. Nanopart. Res. 10, 715–728 (2008).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Porter, A. L. & Youtie, J. J. Nanopart. Res. 11, 1023–1041 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Andreasen, N. C. & Brown, T. L. (co-chairs) Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research (National Academies, 2005).


  13. Boyack, K. W., Klavans, R. & Börner, K. Scientometrics 64, 351–374 (2005).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Rafols, I. & Leydesdorff, L. J. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci. Technol. 10.1002/asi.21086 (2009).

  15. Leydesdorff, L. & Rafols, I. J. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci. Technol. 60, 348–362 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Rafols, I. & Meyer, M., Scientometrics 10.1007/s11192-009-0041-y (2009).

  17. Porter, A. L., Cohen, A. S., Roessner, J. D. & Perreault, M. Scientometrics 72, 117–147 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. Porter, A. L., Roessner, J. D. & Heberger, A. E. Res. Evaluat. 17, 273–282, (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Porter, A. L. & Rafols, I. Scientometrics 10.1007/s11192-008-2197-2 (2009).

  20. Noyons, E. et al. Mapping Excellence in Science and Technology Across Europe: Nanoscience and Nanotechnology EC-PPN CT-2002-0001 (European Commission, 2003).

  21. Huang, C., Notten, A. & Rasters, N. Nanotechnology Publications and Patents: A Review of Social Science Studies and Search Strategies Working Paper No. 2008-058 (United Nations Univ., 2008).

    Google Scholar 

Download references


We acknowledge support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to Georgia Tech (Award 0830207), Arizona State University (Award 0531194) and North Carolina State University (Award EEC-0438684). We also thank P. Shapira for leadership and helpful guidance, I. Rafols for major input in the analyses and mapping, and Thomson Reuters for providing the initial thesaurus to match journal to subject category. J. Garner generated the science maps in this paper.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Supplementary information

Supplementary Tables

Supplementary Tables (XLS 41 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Porter, A., Youtie, J. Where does nanotechnology belong in the map of science?. Nature Nanotech 4, 534–536 (2009).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Find nanotechnology articles, nanomaterial data and patents all in one place. Visit Nano by Nature Research