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Disclosure or secrecy? The dynamics of Open Science

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  • Mukherjee, Arijit
  • Stern, Scott

Abstract

Open Science is a dynamic system of knowledge production that depends on the disclosure of knowledge by researchers as an input into knowledge production by future researchers. To analyze the conditions supporting Open Science, we develop an overlapping generations model that focuses on the trade-off between disclosure and secrecy. While secrecy yields private returns that are independent of the actions of future generations, the benefits of disclosure depend in part on the use of disclosed knowledge by the subsequent researchers. We show that Open Science and Secrecy are both potential equilibria, and that the feasibility of Open Science depends on factors such as the costs of accessing knowledge from prior generations and the relative benefits to private exploitation under secrecy versus disclosure. In parameter regions where both Open Science and Secrecy can be supported, Open Science is associated with a higher level of social welfare. The analysis has policy implications for a number of areas, including public support for research training, appropriate design of formal intellectual property, and the role of scientific norms and institutions (such as an effective peer review process) in maintaining Open Science over the long run.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.

Volume (Year): 27 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 449-462

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:27:y:2009:i:3:p:449-462

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551

Related research

Keywords: Open Science Pasteur's Quadrant Overlapping generations;

References

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  1. Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Economics of Technology Sharing: Open Source and Beyond," NBER Working Papers 10956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Fiona E. Murray & Scott Stern, 2007. "Do Formal Intellectual Property Rights Hinder the Free Flow of Scientific Knowledge?: An Empirical Test of the Anti-Commons Hypothesis," NBER Chapters, in: Academic Science and Entrepreneurship: Dual Engines of Growth National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Scott Stern, 2004. "Do Scientists Pay to Be Scientists?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(6), pages 835-853, June.
  14. David, Paul A, 1998. "Common Agency Contracting and the Emergence of "Open Science" Institutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 15-21, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Mueller-Langer, Frank & Andreoli-Versbach, Patrick, 2014. "Open Access to Research Data: Strategic Delay and the Ambiguous Welfare Effects of Mandatory Data Disclosure," Discussion Papers in Economics 21037, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Jeffrey L. Furman & Scott Stern, 2011. "Climbing atop the Shoulders of Giants: The Impact of Institutions on Cumulative Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1933-63, August.
  3. Lacetera, Nicola & Zirulia, Lorenzo, 2012. "Individual preferences, organization, and competition in a model of R&D incentive provision," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 550-570.
  4. Joshua S. Gans & Fiona E. Murray & Scott Stern, 2013. "Contracting Over the Disclosure of Scientific Knowledge: Intellectual Property and Academic Publication," NBER Working Papers 19560, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Marc Blatter & Andras Niedermayer, 2008. "Informational Hold-Up, Disclosure Policy, and Career Concerns on the Example of Open Source Software Development," Working Papers 08-06, NET Institute, revised Sep 2008.
  6. Carolin Haeussler & Lin Jiang & Jerry Thursby & Marie C. Thursby, 2009. "Specific and General Information Sharing Among Academic Scientists," NBER Working Papers 15315, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Rammer, Christian & Toole, Andrew A., 2013. "University spinoffs and the 'performance premium'," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-004, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  8. Toole, Andrew A. & King, John L., 2011. "Industry-science connections in agriculture: Do public science collaborations and knowledge flows contribute to firm-level agricultural research productivity?," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-064, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  9. Haeussler, Carolin & Jiang, Lin & Thursby, Jerry & Thursby, Marie, 2014. "Specific and general information sharing among competing academic researchers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 465-475.
  10. Jong, Simcha & Slavova, Kremena, 2014. "When publications lead to products: The open science conundrum in new product development," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 645-654.

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