Contested Resource Inputs to Science: How Institutional Provisions on the Access and Use of Materials and Data Affect Research Collaboration Structures and Outcomes

ASU, Center for Science, Technology and Environmental Policy Studies, November 2017

16 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2017

See all articles by Eric Welch

Eric Welch

Arizona State University (ASU) - Center for Science, Technology and Environmental Policy Studies

Mary K. Feeney

Arizona State University (ASU) - School of Public Affairs

Michael D. Siciliano

University of Illinois at Chicago

Federica Fusi

Arizona State University (ASU)

Fengxiu Zhang

Arizona State University (ASU), School of Public Affairs, Center for Science, Technology and Environmental Policy Studies

Date Written: Sept 2017

Abstract

GenNet investigates how institutional controls on biological resource inputs – data and material – affect collaboration structures and science production among US based academic scientists. These material and data inputs are subject to policy and organized efforts to govern their availability and use. With respect to biological materials, global and national policies have sought to establish increasing levels of monitoring and control over their access, exchange, and use. Policy rationales vary widely but institutional controls have been established to address fairness and equity in response to biopiracy concerns, safety and security in the face of bioterrorism, health and safety, and intellectual property rights. These policies respond to important stakeholder demands but also control domestic and international flows and uses of biological materials. With respect to data, global and national policies have sought to encourage greater data exchange and sharing. The 2012 G-8 Summit set out to “promote policies and invest in projects that open access to publicly funded, global agriculturally relevant data streams, making such data readily accessible to users [farmers, researchers and policy makers]... world-wide”. The Obama presidency announced its open data policy and open data executive order in the spring of 2013 establishing new domestic open data policies. These higher-level national and international policies over data and biological materials demonstrate opposing policy end points along a continuum of the openness of science. This research project investigates scientists’ perceptions of these controls and their behavioral approaches to dealing with this ever-changing regulatory environment. We systematically explore how scientists navigate the increasingly complex institutional environment that, to different degrees, facilitates or restricts access, exchange, and use of data and material inputs to research. The primary research question is: How do institutional controls over material and data resource inputs to research affect scientific collaboration structures, resource flows and research outcomes over time?

The study examines: 1. How science collaboration structures (networks) adapt to institutional controls and constraints either as exploratory or exploitative strategies; 2. How individual, dyadic, network and resource factors are associated with data and material flows in scientists’ networks; 3. How institutions that dictate resource availability, exchange and use result in structural and relational changes over time; 4. How restrictions on materials are mediated by network structures, relationships, attitudes and resource characteristics; and 5. How structural change, particularly exploratory and exploitative strategies, are associated with the quantity and quality of research production.

Keywords: science policy, networks, biological materials, science regulations, materials exchange, data exchange

Suggested Citation

Welch, Eric and Feeney, Mary K. and Siciliano, Michael D. and Fusi, Federica and Zhang, Fengxiu, Contested Resource Inputs to Science: How Institutional Provisions on the Access and Use of Materials and Data Affect Research Collaboration Structures and Outcomes (Sept 2017). ASU, Center for Science, Technology and Environmental Policy Studies, November 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3074779

Eric Welch

Arizona State University (ASU) - Center for Science, Technology and Environmental Policy Studies ( email )

411 N Central Avenue, Suite 463
School of Public Affairs
Phoenix, AZ 85004
United States
6024962463 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://csteps.asu.edu

Mary K. Feeney (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) - School of Public Affairs ( email )

Farmer Building 440G PO Box 872011
Tempe, AZ
United States

Michael D. Siciliano

University of Illinois at Chicago ( email )

1200 W Harrison St
Chicago, IL 60607
United States

Federica Fusi

Arizona State University (ASU) ( email )

Farmer Building 440G PO Box 872011
Tempe, AZ 85287
United States

Fengxiu Zhang

Arizona State University (ASU), School of Public Affairs, Center for Science, Technology and Environmental Policy Studies ( email )

University Center
411 N. Central Ave.
Tempe, AZ 85004
United States

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