The internet is, as a rule, a nightmare for the regulation and maintenance of copyright and the preservation of intellectual property. Experiment.com recognises this fact, and deals with it by placing the responsibility of how much information the sponsored researcher chooses to release into their own hands. (Luan 2014) This means that researchers, whilst they are still encouraged to share their discoveries- both successes and failures- with their host of sponsors, can also maintain the integrity and commercial potential of their material by withholding the more sensitive or exclusive information.
Experiment.com maintains a hands-of policy on all the information published on, and generated through the funding from the website. This means that the scientists responsible for generating the information- or, more commonly the research group or institution the scientists form part of- remain the sole owners of the information. This being said, there still exists the very real danger of their research idea or finding being stolen and used by others for their own gain, which is why a provisional patent becomes essential to protect the rights of researchers who wish to make commercial gain of their research. (Murray 2014)
There is currently no public disclosure system in place for the website, rather the website advises researchers to consult their institution, organisation or research group about the information that can or cannot be disclosed on such a public forum. However, there are plans in place to develop and on site public disclosure system which will aid researchers in the future.
Whilst the amount of information disclosed on the website is up to the researcher’s discretion, once a project has been posted on the site, it is impossible to delete. When the campaign ends, it will no longer be discoverable by common search engines, but the URL will still exist. (Luan 2014) This means that the information disclosed online must first be carefully considered, as posting too much information, or certain sensitive research, may detrimentally effect the ability for the research to be either sold or published in the future.
Luan, D. (2014). “Crowdfunding for Science.” Retrieved 27/03/2014, 2014, from http://www.experiment.com.
Murray, J. (2014). “Crowdfunding – Legal Issues for Small Businesses.” Retrieved 24/03, 2014, from http://biztaxlaw.about.com/od/financingsources/a/Crowdfunding-Legal-Issues-For-Small-Businesses.htm.