Alan Porter

Porter.Alan's picture
Georgia Tech
Professional Background: 

Alan L. Porter is professor emeritus of the School of Public Policy, and of Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISyE). His major concentration is technology forecasting and assessment. He received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Caltech (1967) and a PhD in Engineering Psychology from UCLA (1972). He served on the University of Washington faculty through 1974, joining Georgia Tech in 1975. He co-directs the Technology Policy and Assessment Center. He is also Director of R&D at Search Technology, Inc.


Current research focuses on text mining of Science & Technology information resources (research publications, awards, citations, and patents) [see also]. This informs Future-oriented Technology Analyses. Current NSF funding includes ongoing work on nanotechnology text data mining to help profile research areas and forecast emerging opportunities. A recent SciSIP project is on "Measuring & Tracking Research Knowledge Integration"; a new SciSIP project addresses "Revealing Innovation Pathways: Hybrid Science Maps for Technology Assessment and Foresight."

Selected Publications: 

1. Porter, A.L., and Cunningham, S.W., Tech Mining: A Primer on Exploiting Text Resources for Technology Managers and Professionals, Wiley, New York, 2005.

2. Roper, A.T., Cunningham, S.W., Porter, A.L., Mason, T.W., Rossini, F.A., and Banks, J., Forecasting and Management of Technology, New York: John Wiley, 1991; 2d edition, 2011.

3. Porter, A.L., and Chubin, D.E., An Indicator of Interdisciplinary Research, Scientometrics, 8, 161-176, 1985

4. Watts, R.J., and Porter, A.L., “Innovation Forecasting,” Technological Forecasting and Social Change,56, 25-47, 1997.

5. Technology Futures Analysis Methods Working Group, [Alan L. Porter, Brad Ashton, Guenter Clar, Joseph F. Coates, Kerstin Cuhls, Scott W. Cunningham, Ken Ducatel, Patrick van der Duin, Luke Georghiou, Ted Gordon, Hal Linstone, Vincent Marchau, Gilda Massari, Ian Miles, Mary Mogee, Ahti Salo, Fabiana Scapolo, Ruud Smits, and Wil Thissen], Technology Futures Analysis: Toward Integration of the Field and New Methods, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Vol. 71, 287-303, 2004.

6. Porter, A.L., Cohen, A.S., Roessner, J.D., and Perreault, M. Measuring Researcher Interdisciplinarity, Scientometrics, 72 (1), 117-147, 2007.

7. Porter, A.L., Youtie, J., Shapira, P., and Schoeneck, D.J., Refining Search Terms for Nanotechnology, Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 10 (5), 715-728, 2008.

8. Porter, A.L., and Youtie, J., Where Does Nanotechnology Belong in the Map of Science?, Nature-Nanotechnology, Vol. 4, 534-536, 2009.

9. Porter, A.L., and Youtie, J., How interdisciplinary is nanotechnology? Journal of Nanoparticle Research, Vol. 11, No. 5: 1023-1041, 2009.

10. Shapira, P., Youtie, J., and Porter, A.L., The emergence of social science research in nanotechnology, Scientometrics, 85(2): 595-611, 2009.

11. Porter, A.L., and Rafols, I., Is Science Becoming more Interdisciplinary? Measuring and Mapping Six Research Fields over Time, Scientometrics, 81(3), 719-745, 2009.

12. Guo, Y., Huang, L., and Porter, A.L., The Research Profiling Method Applied to Nano-enhanced, Thin-film Solar Cells, R&D Management, Vol. 40 (2), 195-208, 2010.

13. Porter, A.L., Technology Foresight: Types and Methods, International Journal of Foresight and Innovation Policy, Vol. 6 (1/2/3), 36-45, 2010.

14. Porter, A.L., Schoeneck, D.J., Roessner, D., and Garner, J., Practical research proposal and publication profiling, Research Evaluation, 19(1), 29-44, 2010.

15. Rafols, I., Porter, A.L., and Leydesdorff, L., Science overlay maps: A new tool for research policy and library management, Journal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology, 61 (9), 1871-1887, 2010.

16. Zhu, D., and Porter, A.L., “Automated Extraction and Visualization of Information for Technology Intelligence and Forecasting,” Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 69, 495-506, 2002.

17. Robinson, D.K.R., Huang, L., Guo, Y., and Porter, A.L., Forecasting Innovation Pathways for New and Emerging Science & Technologies, Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 80 (2), 267-285, 2013.

18. 148. Zhang, Y., Porter, A.L., Hu, Z., Guo, Y., and Newman, N.C., “Term Clumping” for Technical Intelligence: A Case Study on Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, DOI: 10.1016/ j.techfore.2013.12.019.

19. 156. Porter, A.L., Retire to boost research productivity!, Issues in Science and Technology, 33:1, 23-26, 2014.

Tech mining, technology forecasting, technology assessment, bibliometrics, science mapping, patent mapping

SoSP Posted Content

Re: Looking for statistics about state of interdisciplinary research

Posted: Nov 11, 2016

Hi Bethany – a bit dated, but here’s a study showing increasing interdisciplinarity trend.
Best wishes,

Early social science research about Big Data

Posted: Jun 27, 2016

Jan Youtie; Alan L. Porter; Ying Huang
Science and Public Policy 2016

How Does National Scientific Funding Support Emerging Interdisciplinary Research: A Comparison Study of Big Data Research in the US and China

Posted: May 25, 2016

Huang Y, Zhang Y, Youtie J, Porter AL, Wang X (2016) How Does National Scientific Funding Support Emerging Interdisciplinary Research: A Comparison Study of Big Data Research in the US and China.

Re: Disciplinarity

Posted: Feb 23, 2016

Hi – an oldie (collecting classics in an edited volume):

Re: Is Science Becoming more Interdisciplinary?

Posted: Jul 06, 2013

Hi Steve - Thanks for your interest.  Here's some things we've been up to at
Georgia Tech: