Contested Resource Inputs to Science: How Institutional Provisions on the Access and use of Materials and Data Affect Research Collaboration Structure

Project: Research project

Project Details


International agreements such as the Nagoya and Cartagena Protocols of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) are resulting in new policy institutions that regulate the global exchange and use of biological materials in research (Welch, et al. 2013). These rules are shifting the locus of control over materials from individual researchers to institutions that represent stakeholder interests addressing equity, security and safety of material exchange and use. Scientist control over biological materials is declining as new international policies are being implemented. Traditionally, material resource exchange occurs within networks that link scientists with other scientists and with provider organizations. In this new context of contested resources, access to and exchange of biological materials are jointly determined by the network structure and relationships within which researchers are embedded and these new authority structures that govern them. Scientists will strategically alter their collaboration networks to improve access to and use of materials.
This proposed research aims to explore how new regulatory constraints are affecting scientists ability to access, exchange and use biological materials; how scientists collaboration structures change over time in response to restrictions; and how restrictions on materials are related to research production. Constructed as a multi-case, mixed methods design, the study will collect qualitative and quantitative data from three international research communities invertebrate, microbial and botanical biological control that are fundamentally dependent on international access to biological materials for research and affected by the new policies. Quantitative network data collected using advanced survey methods at two points in time will be used to model relationships among variables such as rejection of requests for materials, limitations on material use and exchange, collaboration structure and relationships, and research outputs including journal articles, intellectual property and new products.
Effective start/end date7/1/146/30/18


  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $299,410.00


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