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  • 1 Fudan University School of Management 200433 Shangai People’s Republic of China
  • 2 Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics School of Management 100083 Beijing People’s Republic of China
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This paper explores the relationship between patenting and publishing in the field of nanotechnology for Chinese universities. With their growing patents, Chinese universities are becoming main technological source for nanotechnology development that is extremely important in China. Matching names of patentees to names of research paper authors in Chinese universities, we find 6,321 authors with patents, i.e. inventor–authors, and 65,001 without any patent. Research performance is measured using three indicators—publication counts, total citations and h-index received by each researcher. It is found that research performance of authors who are also inventors holding patents is better than that of those authors who do not have a patent, and that most of high quality research is performed by inventor–authors. Our findings indicate that patent-oriented research may produce better results.