Friday, July 26, 2013

Crowdsourcing Yields Great Research Ideas, Can Help You Land Funding Too

Here's an excellent article about the value of data sharing in both Pharma and academia, and how incentives are stacked up against doing so:
[Bernard] Munos believes that a radical change in leadership will be needed to steer any given pharma towards new, collaborative directions and away from a focus on insularity and protection of intellectual property. However, academics also remain wary of sharing, with career advancement still dependent on traditional models of publication and funding, where data are sequestered until the paper hits the presses. “The value system is structured in terms of 'keep your data to yourself and write papers and you'll go forward',” says [Gustavo] Stolovitzky. This means loss of time to the publication process and of vast volumes of assay data that never see the light of day.
The rest of the article contains several interesting anecdotes about how crowd-based innovation competitions can yield many great ideas about experimental directions, solutions to problems that are superior to the status quo, and how one Dana-Farber researcher managed to swing a crowdsourced idea into funding for the project.