open science

Data sharing: Access all areas

Advocates say that open science will be good for innovation. One neuroscience institute plans to put that to the test.

In the cut-throat world of early-stage clinical development, where aggressive defence of data and intellectual property is thought to be key to amassing profits, one academic institute is opting out.

Over the next five years, McGill University’s Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (the Neuro) in Canada will conduct a radical experiment in open science. It will make all results, data and publications from its research free to access, will require collaborators to do the same, and, perhaps most surprisingly, will not pursue patents on any of its discoveries. Read more in Nature.

Montreal institute going ‘open’ to accelerate science

Experiment aims to show whether forgoing patents and freeing up data can boost neuroscience research.

Guy Rouleau, the director of McGill University’s Montreal Neuro logical Institute (MNI) and Hospital in Canada, is frustrated with how slowly neuroscience research translates into treatments. “We’re doing a really shitty job,” he says. “It’s not because we’re not trying; it has to do with the complexity of the problem.”

So he and his colleagues at the renowned institute decided to try a radical solution. Starting this year, any work done there will conform to the principles of the “open-science” movement—all results and data will be made freely available at the time of publication, for example, and the institute will not pursue patents on any of its discoveries. Read more in Science.