Open Science

A crucial aspect to this project [the Allen Institute for Brain Science] –and others the Allen Institute has pursued over the last eight years–is an “open science” research model. Early on, we considered charging commercial users for access to our online data. From a strictly financial standpoint, it made sense to reap front-end fees and, down the line, intellectual property royalties. The revenue could cover the high costs of maintenance and development to keep the resource current and useful.
Why We Chose Open Science by Paul Allen, Wall Street Journal, Nov 30, 2011

Allen continues,

But our mission was to spark breakthroughs, and we didn’t want to exclude underfunded neuroscientists who just might be the ones to make the next leap. And so we made all of our data free, with no registration required. 

Our facility is neither the first nor the last to use a shared database to embrace ‘open science’ and reject the competitive, single-lab paradigm. Traditional research incentives — where journal publications are the coin of the realm — tend to discourage vital sharing. What I’ve concluded is that foundations and other private funders who support scientific research also can help promote wider sharing of scientific data. Before funders write a check to a university, they should ask about the researcher’s policies and track record on sharing.