TOWARDS INSTITUTIONAL INFRASTRUCTURES FOR E-SCIENCE: The Scope of the Challenge
The three-fold purpose of this Report to the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) of the Research Councils (UK) is to: • articulate the nature and significance of the non-technological issues that will bear on the practical effectiveness of the hardware and software infrastructures that are being created to enable collaborations in e- Science; • characterise succinctly the fundamental sources of the organisational and institutional challenges that need to be addressed in regard to defining terms, rights and responsibilities of the collaborating parties, and to illustrate these by reference to the limited experience gained to date in regard to intellectual property, liability, privacy, and security and competition policy issues affecting scientific research organisations; and • propose approaches for arriving at institutional mechanisms whose establishment would generate workable, specific arrangements facilitating collaboration in e-Science; and, that also might serve to meet similar needs in other spheres such as e- Learning, e-Government, e-Commerce, e-Healthcare. In carrying out these tasks, the report examines developments in enhanced computer-mediated telecommunication networks and digital information technologies, and recent advances in technologies of collaboration. It considers the economic and legal aspects of scientific collaboration, with attention to interactions between formal contracting and 'private ordering' arrangements that rest upon research community norms. It offers definitions of e-Science, virtual laboratories, collaboratories, and develops a taxonomy of collaborative e-Science activities which is implemented to classify British e-Science pilot projects and contrast these with US collaboratory projects funded during the 1990s. The approach to facilitating inter-organizational participation in collaborative projects rests upon the development of a modular structure of contractual clauses that permit flexibility and experience-based learning.
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