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Conference Papers Year : 2012

Values, norms and practices in Plant biodiversity-based research and innovation commons

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In contrast with new opportunities opened up by molecular sciences and bio?informatics that enable to generate and provide ready access to huge amounts of biological datasets, researchers are facing increasing complexity, cost and uncertainty with regard to access to, use and exchange of biological material and information. Combination of global technical, policy and legal issues as well as broader social values and motivations (such as reputation benefits or reciprocity relationships) are key features impacting the circulation and integration of valuable material and information on biological diversity across countries, institutions and individuals. This paper focuses on concrete biodiversity?based research commons initiatives that try to increase generation, use and exchange of biological material, information and data. Three contrasted collaborative initiatives, implemented at different governance levels and drawing on different levels of formalization, are analyzed: o the GENESYS initiative, a treaty?based international information system that consists in a world?wide meta?information system on plant genetic resources for food and agriculture compiling data from existing national, regional or international genebank information systems in support of the International Treaty on PGRFA; o the Pl@ntNet initiative, a self?regulatory participatory information system that aims at establishing a highly distributed computational plant identification and collaborative digital system on tropical and Mediterranean plants; o the Arcad initiative, a shared research and conservation platform between willing public research institutions that consists in an open multi?function (conservation, research and training) platform devoted to the assessment and better use of crop diversity in Mediterranean and tropical regions in support of development objectives. Comprehensive assessment of these three network initiatives is undertaken using parameters derived from systematic work on generic design principles of governance of global research commons. The nature of the motivation schemes, the level of decentralization and the degree of openness are the three clusters of parameters used to describe how existing or perceived obstacles and restrictions in exchanging material and information are addressed by these initiatives. The analysis of the various institutional options highlights the mixed nature and diversity of values, norms and practices in biodiversity?based research commons. Ultimately, it suggests that cooperative behaviors in relation to sharing of biological material and information are made easier thanks to the fact that they are embedded in broader collaborative research platforms. By managing to fully capture the non?monetary benefits of the relationships involved, these platforms better reflect the normative practices and needs of the scientific communities involved in biodiversity?based research commons in a global context.
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hal-03776872 , version 1 (14-09-2022)


  • HAL Id : hal-03776872 , version 1


Sélim Louafi, Elizabeth Arnaud, Daniel Barthélémy, Pierre Bonnet, Jean-Louis Noyer, et al.. Values, norms and practices in Plant biodiversity-based research and innovation commons. First Thematic Conference on "the Knowledge Commons" (2012 IASC), 12-14th september 2012, Louvain-la-neuve, International Association for the Study of the Commons, Sep 2012, Louvain-la-neuve, Belgium. ⟨hal-03776872⟩
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