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Specific and General Information Sharing Among Academic Scientists

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  • Carolin Haeussler
  • Lin Jiang
  • Jerry Thursby
  • Marie C. Thursby

Abstract

We provide theoretical and empirical evidence on the factors that influence the willingness of academic scientists to share research results. We distinguish between two types of sharing, specific sharing in which a researcher shares her data or materials with another and general sharing in which scientists report results to the entire community (as in conference presentations). We present two simple games in which scientists research a problem of scientific merit (with an associated prize of academic and/or commercial value). In both cases, the scientists have intermediate research results but none has solved the entire problem.We test these models using a unique survey of bio-scientists in the UK and Germany regarding their willingness to "share." Our results generally support both models. In both, sharing is negatively related to competition and the importance of patents. In other respects they differ markedly. For example, large teams are more likely to share specifically but less likely to share generally. Rank does not matter for general sharing, but it does for specific sharing, where untenured faculty are less likely to share. One important implication is that policies designed to enhance sharing must be tailored to the type of sharing.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15315.

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Date of creation: Sep 2009
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Publication status: published as “General and Specific Information Sharing Among Academic Scientists,” (with Carolin Hauessler, Lin Jiang and Jerry Thursby), Research Policy, October 2013.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15315

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  1. Jeremy C. Stein, 2008. "Conversations among Competitors," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2150-62, December.
  2. Haeussler, Carolin, 2010. "Information-Sharing in Academia and the Industry: A Comparative Study," MPRA Paper 24415, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. James J. Anton & Dennis A. Yao, 2002. "The Sale of Ideas: Strategic Disclosure, Property Rights, and Contracting," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(3), pages 513-531.
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  7. Walsh, John P. & Cohen, Wesley M. & Cho, Charlene, 2007. "Where excludability matters: Material versus intellectual property in academic biomedical research," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 1184-1203, October.
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  13. Anton, James J & Yao, Dennis A, 2002. "The Sale of Ideas: Strategic Disclosure, Property Rights, and Contracting," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(3), pages 513-31, July.
  14. Gary Hoover, 2006. "A Game-Theoretic Model of Plagiarism," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 34(4), pages 449-454, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Haeussler, Carolin, 2011. "Information-sharing in academia and the industry: A comparative study," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 105-122, February.
  2. Bernhard Ganglmair & Emanuele Tarantino, 2012. "Patent Disclosure in Standard Setting," NBER Working Papers 17999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Hottenrott, Hanna & Thorwarth, Susanne, 2010. "Industry funding of university research and scientific productivity," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-105, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  4. Thomas F. Hellmann & Enrico C. Perotti, 2011. "The Circulation of Ideas in Firms and Markets," NBER Working Papers 16943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Holm, HÃ¥kan J., 2011. "Double-blind in light of the internet: A note on author anonymity," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 24-26, March.
  6. Haeussler, Carolin & Colyvas, Jeannette A., 2011. "Breaking the Ivory Tower: Academic Entrepreneurship in the Life Sciences in UK and Germany," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 41-54, February.
  7. Franzoni, Chiara & Sauermann, Henry, 2014. "Crowd science: The organization of scientific research in open collaborative projects," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 1-20.

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