Blog archive for October, 2007

Eric Von Hippel on Openness and Innovation in Scholarly Publishing

October 30th, 2007 by Kaitlin Thaney

The latest installment of MIT Libraries’ new podcast series on scholarly publishing and copyright features Professor Eric von Hippel of MIT. Hippel is the Head of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

 “Professor von Hippel speaks about his experiment with making two of his books openly available on his website at no cost to the reader, and about the broader issue of how the economics of innovation are increasingly favoring open, unrestricted internet access, including in scholarly publishing. […]”

Click here to listen.

Nguyen on our Materials Transfer work

October 22nd, 2007 by Kaitlin Thaney

Looking for a better understanding of our Biological Materials Transfer Agreement project? Look no further.

The latest edition of Innovations features an in-depth analysis of our Materials Transfer work, one of our three main areas of focus at Science Commons. The analysis was written by Science Commons counsel Thinh Nguyen, who also leads our efforts in this area.

In the article, Nguyen provides the necessary background information about the current system of transferring biological materials between research institutions, and the contractual framework associated.

From the article:

“Access to unique research resources, such as biological materials and reagents, is vital to the success and advancement of science. Many research protocols require assembling a large and diverse set of materials from many sources. Yet, often the process of finding and negotiating the transfer of such materials can be difficult and time- consuming. […]

[…] Science Commons’s Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) Project seeks to reduce unnecessary barriers to the transfer and reuse of basic research materials and reagents, for both United States and international scientific collaboration, by proposing a scalable and flexible infrastructure for searching, negotiation and tracking.”

Neurocommons in the news

October 1st, 2007 by Kaitlin Thaney

Pharmaceutical companies may soon be adopting Semantic Web standards and technology if they haven’t already, according to a recent piece in Chemical & Engineering News. The cover story, “The Semantic Web: Pharma researchers Adopt an Orphan Internet Standard”, looks at the desirability of such search technology and functionality in the pharma world, specifically highlighting our proof-of-concept project – the Neurocommons.

From the article:

“John Wilbanks, executive director of the Science Commons, a spin-off of Creative Commons that develops routes to legal sharing of copyrighted scientific documents and data, sees a critical mass of IT-savvy researchers enthusiastically pursuing projects using the semantic Web. He compares their efforts to pioneering work on the Internet itself.

‘Around 1995 or 1996, all the subterranean work exploded,’ Wilbanks says, ‘and most people discovered the Web. What is happening now on the semantic Web is similar to what was going on in the five years leading up to that explosion.’

Science Commons, in association with W3C, recently launched a demonstration project called Neurocommons to illustrate the benefits of the semantic Web in neurological disease research. […]

[…] [Wilbanks] says companies will eventually have to adapt in-house semantic Webs to a broader standard that expedites collaborative research between companies and institutions. Such a standard will most likely emerge as in-house projects “boil over” and merge. ‘There are enough databases and enough smart people involved,’ he says. ‘You can really see the momentum now.’

The article can be read in its entirety here.