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This symposium brought together leading experts and managers from the public and private sectors who are involved in the creation, dissemination, and use of scientific and technical data and information (STI) to: (1) describe and discuss the role and the benefits and costs--both economic and other--of the public domain in STI in the research and education context, (2) to identify and analyze the legal, economic, and technological pressures on the public domain in STI in research and education, (3) describe and discuss existing and proposed approaches to preserving the public domain in STI in the United States, and (4) identify issues that may require further analysis.


Suggested Citation

National Research Council. 2003. The Role of Scientific and Technical Data and Information in the Public Domain: Proceedings of a Symposium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

238 pages |  8.5 x 11 | 

  • Paperback:  978-0-309-08850-3
  • Ebook:  978-0-309-16708-6
Chapters skim
Front Matter i-xii
Session 1: The Role, Value, and Limits of Scientific and Technical (S&T) Data and Information in the Public Domain - 1. Discussion Framework 1-9
2. The Genius of Intellectual Property and the Need for the Public Domain 10-14
3. Intellectual Property - When Is It the Best Incentive Mechanism for S&T Data and Information? 15-18
4. The Economic Logic of “Open Science” and the Balance between Private Property Rights and the Public Domain in Scientific Data and Information: A Primer 19-34
5. Scientific Knowledge as a Global Public Good: Contributions to Innovation and the Economy 35-51
6. Opportunities for Commercial Exploitation of Networked Science and Technology Public-Domain Information Resources 52-55
7. Education 56-59
8. Earth and Environmental Sciences 60-64
9. Biomedical Research 65-70
Session 2: Pressures on the Public Domain - 10. Discussion Framework 71-86
11. The Urge to Commercialize: Interactions Between Public and Private Research and Development 87-94
12. Legal Pressures in Intellectual Property Law 95-98
13. Legal Pressures on the Public Domain: Licensing Practices 99-103
14. Legal Pressures in National Security Restrictions 104-108
15. The Challenge of Digital Rights Management Technologies 109-116
Session 3: Potential Effects of a Diminishing Public Domain - 16. Discussion Framework 117-124
17. Fundamental Research and Education 125-128
18. Conflicting International Public Sector Information Policies and their Effects on the Public Domain and the Economy 129-132
19. Potential Effects of a Diminishing Public Domain in Biomedical Research Data 133-138
Session 4: Responses by the Research and Education Communities in Preserving the Public Domain and Promoting Open Access - 20. Discussion Framework 139-160
21. Strengthening Public-Domain Mechanisms in the Federal Government: A Perspective From Biological and Environmental Research 161-164
22. Academics as a Natural Haven for Open Science and Public-Domain Resources: How Far Can We Stray? 165-168
23. New Legal Approaches in the Private Sector 169-174
24. Designing Public-Private Transactions in the Private Sector 175-179
25. Emerging Models for Maintaining Scientific Data in the Public Domain 180-186
26. The Role of the Research University in Strengthening the Intellectual Commons: the OpenCourseWare and DSpace Initiatives at Massachusetts Institute of Technology 187-190
27. Corporate Donations of Geophysical Data 191-193
28. The Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Consortium 194-197
29. Closing Remarks 198-200
Appendix A: Final Symposium Agenda 201-205
Appendix B: Biographical Information on Speakers and Steering Committee Members 206-214
Appendix C: Symposium Attendees 215-224
Appendix D: Acronyms and Initialisms 225-226

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