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Public or private economies of knowledge: The economics of diffusion and appropriation of bioinformatics tools

Harvey, M and McMeekin, A (2010) 'Public or private economies of knowledge: The economics of diffusion and appropriation of bioinformatics tools.' International Journal of the Commons, 4 (1). 481 - 506. ISSN 1875-0281

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Abstract

The past three decades have witnessed a period of great turbulence in the economies of biological knowledge, during which there has been great uncertainty as to how and where boundaries could be drawn between public or private knowledge especially with regard to the explosive growth in biological databases and their related bioinformatic tools. This paper will focus on some of the key software tools developed in relation to bio-databases. It will argue that bioinformatic tools are particularly economically unstable, and that there is a continuing tension and competition between their public and private modes of production, appropriation, distribution, and use. The paper adopts an ?instituted economic process? approach, and in this paper will elaborate on processes of making knowledge public in the creation of ?public goods?. The question is one of continuously creating and sustaining new institutions of the commons. We believe this critical to an understanding of the division and interdependency between public and private economies of knowledge.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Public goods; markets for knowledge; instituted economic process; commons; public domain; open-source software
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2013 12:55
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2017 18:04
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/5098

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