Opening research biobanks: An overview

R. Caso* (Corresponding Author), R. Ducato

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In biomedical research and translational medicine, the ancient war between the exclusive right (private control over information) and public access to information is struggling on a new battlefield: research biobanks. The latter are becoming increasingly important (one of the ten ideas changing the world, according to Time magazine) because they collect, store and distribute in a secure and professional way a critical mass of human biological samples for research purposes. Tissues and related data are fundamental for the development of biomedical research and the emerging field of translational medicine, because they represent the “raw material” for every kind of biomedical study. For this reason it is crucial to understand the boundaries of IP in this prickly context. After an overview of the complex interactions among the different stakeholders involved in the process of the production of knowledge, in this paper we will thin out some blurring of language concerning concepts often mixed up, such as “open source”, “open access”, and their precipitates. Then, the aim is to understand if we can use the concepts in the biomedical context, and which are the open models proposed in literature specifically for research biobanks in order to avoid the tragedy of anticommons.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComparative Issues in the Governance of Research Biobanks
Subtitle of host publicationProperty, Privacy, Intellectual Property, and the Role of Technology
PublisherSpringer Berlin / Heidelberg
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-642-33116-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-642-33115-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2013


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