Japonica Rice: Intellectual Property, Scientific Publishing and Data‐sharing

Matthew Rimmer
Matthew Rimmer

Prometheus
Critical Studies in Innovation
Volume 23, 2005 – Issue 3
Pages 325-347

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Abstract

This article examines a series of controversies within the life sciences over data sharing. Part 1 focuses upon the agricultural biotechnology firm Syngenta publishing data on the rice genome in the journal Science, and considers proposals to reform scientific publishing and funding to encourage data sharing. Part 2 examines the relationship between intellectual property rights and scientific publishing, in particular copyright protection of databases, and evaluates the declaration of the Human Genome Organisation that genomic databases should be global public goods. Part 3 looks at varying opinions on the information function of patent law, and then considers the proposals of Patrinos and Drell to provide incentives for private corporations to release data into the public domain.Keywords: Intellectual property rightsgenomicsscientific publishingdata sharingrice and staple cropsfood securitycopyright lawscientific databasespatent lawresearch exemption

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Historical Lessons on ID Technology and the Consequences of an Unchecked Trajectory

Katina Michael & M. G. Michael
Katina Michael & M. G. Michael

Prometheus
Critical Studies in Innovation
Volume 24, 2006 – Issue 4: National Security
Pages 365-377

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Abstract

This paper traces the use of identification techniques throughout the ages and focuses on the growing importance of citizen identification by governments. The paper uses a historical approach beginning with manual techniques such as tattoos, through to more recent automatic identification (auto‐ID) techniques such as smart cards and biometrics. The findings indicate that identification techniques born for one purpose have gradually found their way into alternate applications, and in some instances have been misused altogether. There is also strong evidence to suggest that governments are moving away from localized identification schemes to more global systems based on universal lifetime identifiers.Keywords: national identificationautomatic identificationsmart cardbiometricshistorygovernment

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Obituary: John de la Mothe

The Editor
The Editor

Prometheus
Critical Studies in Innovation
Volume 25, 2007 – Issue 4
Page 433

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With profound regret, Prometheus has to announce the unexpected and untimely death of its North American Editor, John de la Mothe, who passed away at his home in Ottawa on 3 August 2007. He was 52.

John was regarded by many as one of Canada’s leading experts on science and innovation policy. He held the Canada Research Chair in Innovation Strategy at the University of Ottawa and was Founding Director of the university’s Program of Research in International Management and Economy (PRIME).

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Beyond the Information Revolution?

Donald M. Lamberton
Donald M. Lamberton

Prometheus
Critical Studies in Innovation
Volume 27, 2009 – Issue 4: Beyond the Information Revolution?
Pages 331-333

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Throughout its 27 years Prometheus has been concerned with ‘issues in technological change, innovation, information economics, communications and science policy’. While this seemed a modern focus, many contributors to the literature tended to overlook history and focused too sharply on what was happening here and now with the exciting new information technology. In reality, the Information Revolution had been a very much longer ongoing process. Useful as it seemed, the distinction between short‐run and long‐run severely hampered understanding of the evolutionary processes of change and tended to exclude the historian from economic inquiry.

There were, of course, notable exceptions. Alfred Marshall, for example, recognized that

Ideas, whether those of art and science, or those embodied in practical appliances, are the most ‘real’ of the gifts that each generation receives from its predecessors. The world’s material wealth would quickly be replaced if it were destroyed, but the ideas by which it was made retained. If however the ideas were lost, but not the material wealth, then that would dwindle and the world would go back to poverty. 1

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Openness in academic publication: the question of trust, authority and reliability

Christopher May
Christopher May

Prometheus
Critical Studies in Innovation
Volume 28, 2010 – Issue 1
Pages 91-94

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Introduction

John Houghton and Charles Oppenheim have rebuffed many of the claims made around the prevalent economic model(s) of academic publishing. They support the contention that there is much to be gained from a shift to open access dissemination of scholarly research. While the economic case seems clear, unfortunately this is not the whole picture; there are other costs and benefits related to the publication of research that are not economic. Therefore, it is worth complementing their useful analysis by raising some questions about the manner in which the academy in general has used traditional methods of publishing to maintain and develop certain community benefits.

Let me be clear at the outset: I make these points not to defend traditional models of academic publication, but to suggest that there are some non‐economic issues that must play a role in decisions about the manner in which open access can be achieved. Here I will suggest three matters that we should consider in addition to those set out by Houghton and Oppenheim: first, the authority and reliability of publically available research; secondly, the role publishers have played as an external back‐stop on issues of trust for academic communities; and thirdly that openness itself may have a social cost to the academy. We need to think about these matters.

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The economic implications of alternative publishing models: views from a non‐economist

Mary Anne Kennan
Mary Anne Kennan

Prometheus
Critical Studies in Innovation
Volume 28, 2010 – Issue 1
Pages 85-89

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In composing this short response to the paper in this issue by Houghton and Oppenheim (2010), based on their larger report to the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) (Houghton et al.2009), I confess I am no economist, nor an expert in quantitative methods. Thus I cannot respond to their paper in either of these roles. Instead, I propose to respond both as an academic who conducts research, writes about it and tries to get it published, and as a researcher interested in scholarly communication, publishing and open access.

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A commentary on ‘The economic implications of alternative publishing models’

Steven Hall
Steven Hall

Prometheus
Critical Studies in Innovation
Volume 28, 2010 – Issue 1
Pages 73-84

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Introduction

In ‘The economic implications of alternative publishing models’, Houghton and Oppenheim summarise a much longer and more detailed report (Houghton et al., 2009) published by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) in January 2009. This original report piled assumption on assumption, estimate on estimate, to arrive at a series of conclusions about the potential economic benefits of open access publishing which have been widely quoted by proponents of open access, but which are deeply flawed. This commentary reviews these assumptions and estimates to show that the conclusions drawn from them about the savings and benefits to be gained from open access publishing over traditional publishing models are wrong. As the devil is in the detail, the commentary refers frequently to the original report.

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Minerva’s owl. A response to John Houghton and Charles Oppenheim’s ‘The economic implications of alternative publishing models’

Martin Hall
Martin Hall

Prometheus
Critical Studies in Innovation
Volume 28, 2010 – Issue 1
Pages 61-71

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Introduction

Like Hegel’s owl of Minerva, scholars are arriving at the realization of the existence of the knowledge economy after dusk. (Drahos and Braithwaite, 2002, p. 39)

Houghton and Oppenheim’s cost–benefit analysis of different forms of scholarly publishing is a major contribution in considering the case for open access and for open institutional repositories as a standard resource in publicly‐funded universities. Understanding these issues through empirically‐informed profiles of national systems of research and innovation is a significant advance, but to focus only on this is to be distracted from significant and more general issues about the ways in which knowledge is produced, particularly in universities, and the requirements and opportunities for such work in the contemporary knowledge economy. As with Hegel’s owl of wisdom, the true meaning of major new ways of doing things can only be appreciated later in the day, when both the innovation and its implications are clearer.

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The immediate practical implication of the Houghton Report: provide Green open access now

Stevan Harnad
Stevan Harnad

Prometheus
Critical Studies in Innovation
Volume 28, 2010 – Issue 1
Pages 55-59

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Introduction

Among the many important implications of Houghton et al.’s (2009) timely and illuminating JISC analysis of the costs and benefits of providing free online access to peer‐reviewed scholarly and scientific journal articles, one stands out as particularly compelling: It would yield a 40‐fold benefit/cost ratio if the world’s peer‐reviewed research were all self‐archived by its authors so as to make it OA.

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The economic implications of alternative publishing models

John W. Houghton & Charles Oppenheim
John W. Houghton & Charles Oppenheim

Prometheus
Critical Studies in Innovation
Volume 28, 2010 – Issue 1
Pages 41-54

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Abstract

A knowledge economy has been defined as one in which the generation and exploitation of knowledge has come to play the predominant part in the creation of wealth. It is not simply about pushing back the frontiers of knowledge; it is also about the more effective use and exploitation of all types of knowledge in all manner of economic activities. One key question is whether there are new opportunities and new models for scholarly publishing that might better serve researchers and more effectively communicate and disseminate research findings. Building on previous work, this paper looks at the costs and potential benefits of alternative models for scientific and scholarly publishing, describing the approach and methods used and summarising the findings of a study undertaken for the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) in the United Kingdom. It concludes that different publishing models can make a material difference to the costs faced and benefits realised from research communication, and it seems likely that more open access to findings from publicly funded research would have substantial net benefits.

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