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Governing Knowledge Commons$
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Brett M. Frischmann, Michael J. Madison, and Katherine J. Strandburg

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199972036

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199972036.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 November 2021

Constructing the Genome Commons

Constructing the Genome Commons

(p.99) 4 Constructing the Genome Commons
Governing Knowledge Commons

Jorge L. Contreras

Oxford University Press

Basic scientific research is often viewed as a public good: a nondepletable, nonrival resource in the public domain. The vast collection of genomic data generated since the Human Genome Project belies this description. This valuable resource, though accessible to researchers worldwide, is governed by a complex set of rules that have evolved over the past two decades. As such, the “genome commons” resembles the common-pool resources described by Elinor Ostrom more than it resembles a public good. This chapter’s analysis of the genome commons begins with Ostrom’s Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework. It elucidates the stakeholder interests and negotiations that led to the rules-in-use, both formal and norms-based, that govern this global scientific resource. It concludes that a purely public goods approach to the genome commons is overly simplistic and, if pursued, could lead to lessening participation in the creation of this invaluable public resource.

Keywords:   Genome, gene, DNA, IAD framework, science commons, NIH, SNP, patent, public goods, biomedical research

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