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Information-Sharing in Academia and the Industry: A Comparative Study


  • Carolin Haeussler


This paper investigates how scientists decide whether to share information with their colleagues or not. Detailed data on the decisions of 1,694 bio-scientists allow to detect similarities and differences between academia-based and industry-based scientists. Arguments from social capital theory are applied to explain why individuals share information even at (temporary) personal cost. In both realms, the results suggest that the likelihood of sharing decreases with the competitive value of the requested information. Factors related to social capital, i.e., expected reciprocity and the extent to which a scientist’s community conforms to the norm of open science,either directly affect information-sharing or moderate competitive interest considerations on information-sharing. The effect depends on the system to which a scientist belongs.

Suggested Citation

  • Carolin Haeussler, 2010. "Information-Sharing in Academia and the Industry: A Comparative Study," Working Paper Series of the German Council for Social and Economic Data 154, German Council for Social and Economic Data (RatSWD).
  • Handle: RePEc:rsw:rswwps:rswwps154

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    Cited by:

    1. Arman Avadikyan & Gilles Lambert & Christophe Lerch, 2016. "A Multi-Level Perspective on Ambidexterity: The Case of a Synchrotron Research Facility," Working Papers of BETA 2016-44, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    2. Christian Matt & Christian Hoerndlein & Thomas Hess, 0. "Let the crowd be my peers? How researchers assess the prospects of social peer review," Electronic Markets, Springer;IIM University of St. Gallen, vol. 0, pages 1-14.
    3. Giovanni Ramello, 2011. "Property rights and externalities: the uneasy case of knowledge," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 123-141, February.
    4. Chuanshen Qin & Bo Fan, 2016. "Factors that influence information sharing, collaboration, and coordination across administrative agencies at a Chinese university," Information Systems and e-Business Management, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 637-664, August.
    5. Squazzoni, Flaminio & Bravo, Giangiacomo & Takács, Károly, 2013. "Does incentive provision increase the quality of peer review? An experimental study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 287-294.
    6. repec:wip:wpaper:6 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. 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.
    8. Benedikt Fecher & Sascha Friesike, 2013. "Open Science: One Term, Five Schools of Thought," Working Paper Series of the German Council for Social and Economic Data 218, German Council for Social and Economic Data (RatSWD).
    9. 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.
    10. Dirk Czarnitzki & Christoph Grimpe & Andrew A. Toole, 2015. "Delay and secrecy: does industry sponsorship jeopardize disclosure of academic research?," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 251-279.
    11. Simeth, Markus & Raffo, Julio D., 2013. "What makes companies pursue an Open Science strategy?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 1531-1543.
    12. Andreoli-Versbach, Patrick & Mueller-Langer, Frank, 2014. "Open access to data: An ideal professed but not practised," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(9), pages 1621-1633.
    13. Sotaro Shibayama, 2015. "Academic commercialization and changing nature of academic cooperation," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 513-532, April.
    14. 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.
    15. Christine L. Borgman, 2012. "The conundrum of sharing research data," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 63(6), pages 1059-1078, June.
    16. Sauermann, Henry & Roach, Michael, 2013. "Increasing web survey response rates in innovation research: An experimental study of static and dynamic contact design features," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 273-286.
    17. Haeussler, Carolin & Sauermann, Henry, 2013. "Credit where credit is due? The impact of project contributions and social factors on authorship and inventorship," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 688-703.
    18. repec:spr:elmark:v:27:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s12525-017-0247-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Subramanian, Annapoornima M. & Lim, Kwanghui & Soh, Pek-Hooi, 2013. "When birds of a feather don’t flock together: Different scientists and the roles they play in biotech R&D alliances," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 595-612.
    20. 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.
    21. Chiara Franzoni & Giuseppe Scellato & Paula Stephan, 2012. "Foreign Born Scientists: Mobility Patterns for Sixteen Countries," NBER Working Papers 18067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Dirk Czarnitzki & Christoph Grimpe & Maikel Pellens, 2015. "Access to research inputs: open science versus the entrepreneurial university," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(6), pages 1050-1063, December.
    23. Sascha Friesike & Bastian Widenmayer & Oliver Gassmann & Thomas Schildhauer, 2015. "Opening science: towards an agenda of open science in academia and industry," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 581-601, August.
    24. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:2:p:363-378 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    information-sharing; social capital; reciprocity; open science; bio-sciences; IP protection mechanisms;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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