Research companies

Optimize your use of resources

Researchers at companies confront the same barriers to discovery and innovation that researchers in the nonprofit world face, including the lack of common standards or mature infrastructure for the exchange of research, data and materials. As a result, companies are continually reinventing the wheel, engaging in multiple, complex negotiations to get necessary materials and purchasing, integrating, reformatting and enriching the literature to sort through and analyze it.

At Science Commons, we develop tools and strategies to bypass these problems and create a richer, more useful public domain of data and materials in open formats. We can help you by:

Speeding access to research materials — In many areas of science, and particularly in biomedical research, industry-academic partnerships are critical to solving important problems. Unfortunately, such partnerships take time and money to negotiate. We need faster, easier and less expensive ways to collaborate. Through our Materials Transfer Agreement Project, we offer contract templates that are explicitly developed to facilitate the transfer of unique research materials from academic providers to for-profit users, within the parameters articulated by the NIH Principles and Guidelines for such transfer. In addition, in our beta MTA system on the iBridgeSM Network, we partner with major biobanks such as the Coriell Cell Culture Repository and the Addgene Plasmid Repository to speed orders through third-party fulfillment.

Integrating data for large-scale machine processing — Our NeuroCommons Project integrates large volumes of information from disparate sources and makes it useable by computers for large-scale processing. The NeuroCommons includes both an integrated knowledgebase and analytic software, and represents the first open source knowledge management system for the life sciences. Anyone is free to install a copy of the NeuroCommons locally, or simply use the web-based search endpoint. We provide our software tools for free, under licenses that are compatible with commercial use, such as the BSD open source licenses. Our aim is to enable researchers to take full advantage of the complex information on the Web for life sciences. If you have questions or would like to test the utility of the NeuroCommons, we encourage you to contact us.

Opening zones of legal certainty for research — Much of the literature is published in formats that limit innovative uses, and under legal regimes that forbid changing those formats. This restricts not only access but also the use of computer technologies to pool, text-mine and analyze the information. Through our Scholar’s Copyright Project, we promote and facilitate greater legal access to published research, including developing a data-sharing protocol that enables the global scientific community to integrate and use data created under different legal regimes. We are also often approached to form multi-party collaborations to share non-competitive or pre-competitive data and tools that may benefit the research industry and the public.

If you would like to collaborate with us to support the emergence of a more useful public domain, please let us know.