Science and Public Policy, v. 41, n. 6, pp. 793–808. Abstract: This paper proposes an in-depth analysis of some of the constraints on case studies conducted at French university hospital services, aiming to better understand R&D in their services. We begin with an analysis of the intangibility of inputs (knowledge and information) and outputs that confirms the difficulty in recognizing innovations based on the social sciences and humanities. This empirical study verified that there was a diversity of actors who contributed to the generation and increase of the stock of knowledge. Concerning R&D funding, it is noted that R&D in services is not always planned in terms of a formal project. Finally, one could argue that advances in research allow the recognition of different relationships at the same time as the boundaries of R&D in services are expanded, allowing a better measurement of its results.