Posts by

Clemens Heinrichs

Can “Science 2.0” learn from the open-source movement?

Can “Science 2.0” learn from developments of the “Web 2.0” regarding Intellectual Property rights, in particular the “open-source movement”?

The diagnosis that intellectual property rights may conflict with norms traditionally associated with science, i.e. the so-called “Mertonian norms”, isn’t new to “science 2.0”, but has already been recognized for “science 1.0”.

In short the argument goes like this: IP rights, with their possibility to exclude others from intellectual content and to license this content for money, give a financial incentive to create new knowledge. Science, in the Mertonian ideal at least, only needs reputation as an incentive. But not only do the incentives clash, but IP rights, through their exclusion effects, stand in direct opposition to some of Merton’s norms, most importantly to what he calls “communalism”. But since we don’t live in an ideal world, we have to accept – for now at least – that there is financial pressure on scientists to capitalize their research. Read on…

What about the past?

This week the Royal Society made around 60.000 papers from their historical archive available online. Among the papers now open to the online public are such gems as Isaac Newton’s first published paper.
This excercise in open data coincides with the announcement of the first ever open access journal of the Royal Society, Open Biology.

Recent Comments