Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Science exchange

One of the notable things about this description is the ambivalence about monetary payments...

Online Marketplace Helps Professors Outsource Their Lab Research

Science Exchange

"The site functions like a marketplace, linking researchers who need to outsource parts of their work with people from institutions and companies who can provide that help. The providers bid, the researchers pick the bid that suits them best, and Science Exchange takes about a 5 percent cut (that percentage drops for bids worth more than $5,000).
The idea for the project came from Ms. Iorns’s own problems outsourcing research to other institutions. “The hardest part was paying” for such services, Ms. Iorns said, because universities often don’t have a protocol for how to pay for outsourced research.
This is not the first effort to use the Internet to link researchers to the facilities they need, but the “market aspect” of Science Exchange makes it different, said Edward G. Derrick, chief program director for the Center of Science Policy and Society Programs at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
The site’s model has raised questions for Michael R. Rossi, director of the Cancer Genomics Shared Resource at Emory University’s Winship Cancer Institute. Mr. Rossi thinks researchers may get into trouble with the National Institutes of Health and other institutions that support them if they pay a third party a fee to find outsourced work. “That really could become a big problem,” Mr. Rossi said.
Ms. Iorns, though, said she has been in contact with the NIH’s National Center for Research Resources, and she said officials there have been enthusiastic about the idea. “This is something they’ve really wanted to set up for some time,” she said."

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