“Various factors contribute to the restricted access to materials: avoiding criticism, fear of falsification and retraction, or a desire to stay ahead of peers. Commercial and proprietary concerns also play a significant role in the decision of scientists and organizations to conceal replication materials (Campbell & Bendavid,?2002; Hong & Walsh,?2009). Such motivations are more prominent as the line between academic and commercially oriented research becomes blurred. Nowadays, commercial firms commonly publish in scientific journals, whereas scientists, universities, and research institutions benefit from the commercialization of research findings and often seek patent protection. All of this cultivates an environment of secrecy, in contrast with the scientific tradition of openness and sharing (Merton,?1942)….
Instead of choosing between IP rights and replicability, we suggest an inclusive approach that facilitates replications without depriving scientists of IP rights. Our proposal is to implement a new policy tool: the Conditional Access Agreement (CAA). Recall that it is public access to replication materials that jeopardizes both the prospect of securing patent protection (as novelty and non-obviousness are examined vis-à-vis the public prior art) and trade secret protection (since the pertinent information must be kept out of the public domain). Access, however, does not have to be public. This is precisely the gist of the CAA mechanism—establishing a private, controlled channel of communication for the transfer of replication materials between authors and replicators….
The CAA mechanism would work as follows (Fig?1): When submitting a paper for publication, an author would execute an agreement vis-à-vis the journal, pledging to provide full access to replication materials upon demand. The agreement would specify that anyone requesting access to the materials can only obtain it upon signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Under an NDA, the receiving party commits to use the information disclosed by the other party only for a limited purpose while keeping it confidential. …”