Blog archive for July, 2007

John Wilbanks in the news …

July 19th, 2007 by Kaitlin Thaney

This just in from

Will John Wilbanks Launch the Next Scientific Revolution?

Using innovative copyrights and a Web 2.0 platform, John Wilbanks may just transform how scientific discoveries are made

by Abby Seiff

When Pasteur had his eureka moment, the processes leading up to it were barely different than Archimedes’s. The scientist hypothesized, created his tools, and executed his experiments with little need for input from his colleagues. My, how things have changed. As science has become increasingly complex and interconnected, even the smallest a-ha instance demands that researchers spend the bulk of their time on grunt work – combing through relevant journal articles that are poorly annotated, begging colleagues for necessary materials (a biologist may need specific cell lines, for instance), and tracking down data sets. As scientific goals grow more multifaceted, the challenges for research and developments lie not only in the experiments themselves, but also in the transfer of information among peers.

Enter John Wilbanks, executive director of the Science Commons initiative, and the six-year-old innovation of its parent organization, Creative Commons – an intelligent, understandable copyright that’s revolutionizing how everything from photos to publications are shared. Wilbanks and his team (which includes Nobel Prize winners Joshua Lederberg and John Sulston) are focused on three areas where roadblocks to scientific discovery are most common: in accessing literature, obtaining materials and sharing data. […]”

You can read the rest of this article, which includes an interview with Wilbanks, here.

A closer look at The iBridge Network – over 900 innovations strong

July 16th, 2007 by Kaitlin Thaney

We first wrote about The iBridgeSM Network a few months ago, the day after their new Web site was publicly launched at DEMO 07. Since then, the number of research universities has nearly doubled, with the most recent addition being the University of California system – an additional 10 campuses.

The iBridge Network now boasts 902 innovations (as of July 17, 2007), making it among the larger online networks. The site serves as a clearinghouse for innovation, featuring unique research materials posted by the participating universities, helping to facilitate the transfer of those innovations through standardized licensing and a searchable index system.

We are collaborating with the project to deploy the initial release of our MTA system for use on the network, available to all participating schools. The MTA system allows materials to be easily found and searched on the Web, also allowing providers to provide offers for materials that are listed under standard agreements, including the new suite of MTAs from Science Commons, as well as the existing Uniform Biological Materials Transfer Agreement and the Simple Letter Agreement.

“The project is open to additional research institutions to put content up on the site. We focus much more broadly than commercializable content, making it a perfect mesh with [Science Commons’] MTA content,” said Laura Paglione, director of The iBridge Network at the Kauffman Innovation Network, Inc. “If the network just focused on commercial content, there might not be an MTA component.”

Standard licensing is key in order to allow providers and recipients the ability to not only locate materials but to engage in real-time automated transactions, similar to those on eBay or where materials can be ordered online. Our MTA work further provides the contract description framework that makes this possible, as well as software and technology tools, such as metadata that will allow materials on the Web to be identified by MTA availability.

“Schools are excited about having a way to use standardized agreements,” Paglione said. “We’re happy to provide that functionality to users.”

The iBridge Network is a program of the Kauffman Innovation Network, Inc., an initiative of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. For more information about the project or to search their index of innovations, visit their Web site.