Struggling between Private and Public Domains — Issues around Intellectual Property

Written by: Lirong Shi
Edited by: Patricia Garay, Alyse Krausz, and Sarah Kearns

The primary concerns of scientific researchers are experiments and data.  Thinking about intellectual property (IP) is usually left behind. However, if researchers hope to turn products or discoveries into patents or publications, it is of vital importance to understand intellectual property as soon as they start collecting data. Currently, with the rapid development of scientific research, issues are accumulating around intellectual property, such as authorship, data ownership, and publication practices. The purpose of setting up intellectual property rights is to promote social innovation and public access to human intelligence. Even though the intention of protecting intellectual property is sincere, the original work sometimes becomes too protected, resulting in limited access to it. New regulations, such as redefining authorship assignment and promoting open access, should be implemented to better protect IP and help untrained researchers trudge through the struggle between private and public domains. Continue reading “Struggling between Private and Public Domains — Issues around Intellectual Property”

Changing Scholarly Publication Practices: The Open Access Movement

By: Sarah Kearns. Edited by: Srihari Sundar & Whit Froehlich

Online presence and shareability of content are ever-more important in our modern and increasingly digital world, and science and medicine are no exceptions. With published papers still being the standard for disseminating research, journals and publishing companies continue to largely serve as the gatekeepers of scholarly content. Accessibility is a critical component, with journals either labeled as Open Access (OA) or paywalled, the latter implying that readers must pay before being able access the content. The motivation behind OA is that open is better than closed – having access to the complete version of a scholarly paper increases the transparency of research, contributing to a more reliable scientific system. Continue reading “Changing Scholarly Publication Practices: The Open Access Movement”