The science commons in health research: structure, function, and value
The “science commons,” knowledge that is widely accessible at low or no cost, is a uniquely important input to scientific advance and cumulative technological innovation. It is primarily, although not exclusively, funded by government and nonprofit sources. Much of it is produced at academic research centers, although some academic science is proprietary and some privately funded R&D enters the science commons. Science in general aspires to Mertonian norms of openness, universality, objectivity, and critical inquiry. The science commons diverges from proprietary science primarily in being open and being very broadly available. These features make the science commons particularly valuable for advancing knowledge, for training innovators who will ultimately work in both public and private sectors, and in providing a common stock of knowledge upon which all players—both public and private—can draw readily. Open science plays two important roles that proprietary R&D cannot: it enables practical benefits even in the absence of profitable markets for goods and services, and its lays a shared foundation for subsequent private R&D. The history of genomics in the period 1992–2004, covering two periods when genomic startup firms attracted significant private R&D investment, illustrates these features of how a science commons contributes value. Commercial interest in genomics was intense during this period. Fierce competition between private sector and public sector genomics programs was highly visible. Seemingly anomalous behavior, such as private firms funding “open science,” can be explained by unusual business dynamics between established firms wanting to preserve a robust science commons to prevent startup firms from limiting established firms’ freedom to operate. Deliberate policies to create and protect a large science commons were pursued by nonprofit and government funders of genomics research, such as the Wellcome Trust and National Institutes of Health. These policies were crucial to keeping genomic data and research tools widely available at low cost. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jaffe Adam B. & Lerner Josh, 2006.
"Innovation and Its Discontents,"
Capitalism and Society,
De Gruyter, vol. 1(3), pages 1-36, December.
- Narin, Francis & Olivastro, Dominic, 1992. "Status report: Linkage between technology and science," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 237-249, June.
- Cockburn, Iain M & Henderson, Rebecca M, 1998. "Absorptive Capacity, Coauthoring Behavior, and the Organization of Research in Drug Discovery," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 157-82, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:jtecht:v:32:y:2007:i:3:p:133-156. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.