Informal knowledge constantly transitions into formal domain knowledge in the dynamic knowledge base. This article focuses on an integrative understanding of the knowledge role transition from the perspective of knowledge codification. The transition process is characterized by several dynamics involving a variety of bibliometric entities, such as authors, keywords, institutions, and venues. We thereby designed a series of temporal and cumulative indicators to respectively explore transition possibility (whether new knowledge could be transitioned into formal knowledge) and transition pace (how long it would take). By analyzing the large-scale metadata of publications that contain informal knowledge and formal knowledge in the PubMed database, we find that multidimensional variables are essential to comprehensively understand knowledge role transition. More significantly, early funding support is more important for improving transition pace; journal impact has a positive correlation with the transition possibility but a negative correlation with transition pace; and weaker knowledge relatedness raises the transition possibility, whereas stronger knowledge relatedness improves the transition pace.

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Handling Editor: Ludo Waltman

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