The Value of Scientific Knowledge Dissemination for Scientists—A Value Capture Perspective

Susanne Beck, Maral Mahdad, Karin Beukel, Marion Poetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Scientific knowledge dissemination is necessary to collaboratively develop solutions to today’s challenges among scientific, public, and commercial actors. Building on this, recent concepts (e.g., Third Mission) discuss the role and value of different dissemination mechanisms for increasing societal impact. However, the value individual scientists receive in exchange for disseminating knowledge differs across these mechanisms, which, consequently, affects their selection. So far, value capture mechanisms have mainly been described as appropriating monetary rewards in exchange for scientists’ knowledge (e.g., patenting). However, most knowledge dissemination activities in science do not directly result in capturing monetary value (e.g., social engagement). By taking a value capture perspective, this article conceptualizes and explores how individual scientists capture value from disseminating their knowledge. Results from our qualitative study indicate that scientists’ value capture consists of a measureable objective part (e.g., career promotion) and a still unconsidered subjective part (e.g., social recognition), which is perceived as valuable due to scientists’ needs. By advancing our understanding of value capture in science, scientists’ selection of dissemination mechanisms can be incentivized to increase both the value captured by themselves and society. Hence, policy makers and university managers can contribute to overcoming institutional and ecosystem barriers and foster scientists’ engagement with society.
Original languageEnglish
Article number54
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Open innovation in science
  • Open science
  • Scientific knowledge production
  • Societal impact
  • Subjective exchange value
  • Value capture


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