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Online Dispute Resolution Moves into Realm of Science

Thursday, August, 25, 2011

Online dispute resolution is used for a wide variety of issues such as divorce, medical malpractice, and foreclosure.  Until recently, however, there was relatively little interaction between the world of scientific research and that of online alternative resolution.  A new service just launched, however, is poised to change that.  University scientists are beginning to contract online for laboratories and other facilities that will carry out their experiments.  Because in such arrangements disputes can easily arise, the online exchange that connects researchers also includes a dispute resolution process.


Online Dispute Resolution a Key Component of Science Exchange


Scientists may need to use the process to carry out, for example, intellectual property mediation when the credit for a particular development or discovery is under dispute.  The basic purpose of the exchange is to make sure that institutions that are short on researchers or laboratory facilities can efficiently use resources at institutions or universities that have excess capacity, but without a forum for dispute resolution, the enterprise is bound to cause more problems than it solves.


The service is called Science Exchange and is based in Palo Alto, California where Stanford University is located.  Already prominent universities such as Princeton, Duke, Johns Hopkins and Stanford itself have signed up for the program.  In addition to connecting researchers and providing dispute resolution as needed, Science Exchange will provide payment administration and quality assurance.  In return, the exchange will receive a hosting fee.