Open bioinformation in the life sciences as a gatekeeper for innovation and development

Roberto Caso, Rossana Ducato

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Despite the increasing advocacy towards the “openness” of science and research data, it is still far from being a widespread practice. The goal of this paper is to identify the most pressing obstacles (in terms of funding, technology, Intellectual Property Rights, contracts, data protection, and social norms), which are hindering the development of Open Science and Open Research Data, with particular attention to the situation of developing countries. The innovative aim of this paper, which is the first essay of a broader research, is to prepare the epistemological basis for a Law and Technology theory of “Open Bioinformation” (OB), where bioinformation stands for research data in life sciences. We argue that so far the literature has addressed the promotion of openness in science and research data only in a sectorial manner, taking into account just one or a few of the factors affecting openness as if they were not related or mutually influenced. Therefore, the suggested solutions are limited to a single perspective and fail to consider the dynamics of information control. In our view, a holistic approach, that tries to zoom out from the specific disciplines and take into account the whole picture, would contribute to determining an effective policy for promoting OB. For this reason, we have to consider the technological, legal, and sociological aspects, in order to assess whether and how changes in one domain might affect the others.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLaw, Development and Innovation
EditorsGiuseppe Bellantuono, Lara Fabiano Teodoro
Place of PublicationSpringer
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-13311-9
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • open science
  • bioinformation
  • privacy
  • data protection
  • intellectual property


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