Combining Scenario Technique and Bibliometrics for Technology Foresight: The Case of Personalized Medicine

Birgit Stelzer, Fabian Meyer- Brötz, Edgar Schiebel, Leo Brecht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this article is to present a novel method for combining bibliometrics and Scenario technique for the sake of conducting technology foresight. First, we derive an eight-step Scenario approach and add the identification of emerging technologies aswell as their respective effects on each scenario. Second, we illustrate this combined method in the field of personalized medicine (PM). Existing literature on method combination often focuses singular challenges and benefits associated with the scenario technique. In this paper, however, we integrate the results of a bibliometric analysis at each step of the scenario technique. Herein, we refer mainly to the cocitation analysis and bibliographic coupling network. Third, we describe the findings of our case study for every step of the application of the scenario technique. In doing so, we offer practical guidelines for applying this novel combined method in other contexts. The overall benefit of the method combination is the integration of scientifically based information that exceeds the knowledge bases of the scenario team and other experts. Most notably, the examination of vast amounts of technology-specific information facilitates the identification of emerging technologies. Moreover, the combined method allows for a more precise projection of future states when narrowing the scenario funnel. Using this eight-step scenario approach, we build three Scenarios for the field of PM, discuss disruptive events, and identify and integrate emerging Technologies into each scenario. Finally, we explore strategic decisions for various stakeholders in the PMfield.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-156
Number of pages20
JournalTechnological Forecasting & Social Change
Issue number98
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Research Field

  • Former Research Field - Innovation Systems and Policy


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