Research Stir – FAQ
1. Is your service needed at all, when every scientist can request Biological Research Materials directly from the Provider and for free?
Besides the single role of making a uniform platform and bringing support to scientists seeking Biological Research Materials, our service activity also promotes biomedical research through providing a stage for establishing research collaboration, we are increasing the recognition of Provider scientists work and indirectly help Provider scientists receive more citations of their publications. Finally, we allow Provider scientist to recover research funds that they invested in the shared Biological Materials, what practically never happens when Recipient is approaching the Provider scientist directly.
2. How are you different from the existing non-profit Biological Research Materials repositories?
First of all, we are not a non-profit organization, what gives our service a great advantage in our goal to support the scientists who offer their Biological Research Materials to share, as explained below. We are also not a repository. As explained below, it would be very unpractical, if feasible at all to be a Biological Material Repository of such enormous scope.
Second, we are a Social Purpose Company (unique legal entity, just recently established in Washington State legislature), and as such we are for profit organization. However, pursuing our declared social purpose to foster the advancement of biomedical research we are released from the legal requirement to generate maximal profit for the company and its members. That gives us unprecedented advantage over the existing non-profit Biological Research Materials repositories. Which is, we can freely and proudly share our profit with the Biological Research Materials sharing scientists, what none of the non-profit repositories does. In that respect, we do the fair thing to arrange reimbursing of the Providers for the funds they invested in generating the Biological Research Material samples they share. We also make our services very inexpensive for the Recipient scientists, keeping it at as low levels as it is reasonably feasible to sustain our continuous activity. In effect, we fulfill our declared social purpose contributing to the advancement of biomedical scientific research by helping to speed up the experiments carried by Recipient scientists as well as by generating funds for the Provider scientists and helping to increase recognition of their work and promoting new research collaborations.
Third, with our scope of service it would be very unpractical and costs prohibitive to become a repository of such a variety of Biological Research Materials. Importantly, as it can be expected, some of the Materials could be extremely difficult to maintain, store and propagate, and could require expert knowledge, skills and unique non standard equipment that only the Provider labs could deliver. The Biological Research Materials that researchers request most frequently are the products of breaking research that was not generated by standard methods. As such, it is only practical to leave the maintenance of the unique, proprietary Biological Research Materials to inventor Provider scientists.
3. How are you making profit?
As mentioned above we are a Social Purpose Company, and as such we are a for profit company. We make profit to sustain our social purpose activity and to adequately support the Biological Research Materials sharing scientists, by charging fees for our services. The fees include only nominal charges covering our administrative expenses. We are true scientists driven by our social need to support the advancement of science, and not by the greed of corporate profit, as in the case of majority of commercial enterprises. We also generate income through paid advertising on our web pages, where we allow biomedical research suppliers, supporters and interested organizations to post their ads on our web pages as appropriate. All together thanks to our small size team of first hand lab bench experts, with only minimal administrative expenses of our own, we are able to set our fees at the lowest reasonable level, just to support our continuous activity. Overall, the minimal level of our charges in no way compares to the generous deductions that most science supporting, sponsoring and fundraising organizations “justify” for their own administrative proceedings for the services provided. This is in line with our true social purpose activity.
4. Certain academic institutions may object that charging fees for your service you drain the limited today research funds away from research benches, and that they would rather provide such services for free to scientists in their own capacity. Is this true?
This claim is simply ridiculous. So called "free" services provided by academic institutions are never free, and in fact carry tremendous administrative costs on the institutional research. Providing such services would require institutions to assign administrative staff to do the job (most likely opening new positions just for that), and to pay salaries and benefits to the designated staff. That fact in a big scale, concerning number of institutions, would result in drastically higher draining of research funds than that made by a small size, independent organization, with true experts providing a global service, and charging just a nominal fee to Biological Material Recipient scientists. In this respect the claim of doing such services "for free to scientist", in fact would mean redirecting of the institutional funds from research to administration. In such case the hidden expenses would impact academic research much harder than our nominal fees that we charge the Recipient scientists. And we don't charge the Provider scientists at all.
This is the most important part of our service advantage to scientists, that is we reward the Provider scientists with research funds for their biological resources sharing activity and we charge just nominal, but visible fees to the Recipient scientists. The research funds are in stake, but we channel them back to research benches and not to the academic administration, acting in line with our declared social purpose. Our legal status of Social Purpose Company (and as such not being legally bound to maximize the company profit when pursuing our declared social purpose) gives us this unique advantage here to directly help and reward the scientists. Otherwise, academic institutions would end up with re-channeling of much bigger allotments from the already scarce research funds, to the administrative sector, but doing it in a hidden way.
5. What fees do you charge for your services?
6. Who can submit offers of Biological Research Materials to share for promotion on Research Stir?
Research Stir accepts Biological Research Material offer submissions for promotion on our web pages from qualified researchers of nonprofit and for profit organizations, US based and international, in all branches of life sciences and medicine. Research Stir welcomes offers from all qualified scientists, engineers and educators, including faculty, research staff and students. All Providers must be legally able to provide the Materials offered through Research Stir service, what among others include following institutional regulations and owning rights to share the Biological Materials offered.
7. What needs to be provided in the submission form for the offered Biological Research Material to share?
A detailed and accurate description of the offered Material, including the Material name, sample size, as well as maintenance, storage and propagation requirements as appropriate, all regulatory requirements (e.g. human subject institutional IRB approval, animal work and hazardous compounds requirements) - as requested in our Biological Research Material to share submission form, should be included in the submitted listings. Listings may include text descriptions, graphics, pictures, and other content relevant to the offered Materials. Providing references to published information relevant to the Material generation is highly recommended, when available. All submitted listings must be assigned to appropriate category. If a wrong category is selected, Research Stir will categorize each Biological Research Material listing as it deems appropriate.
8. Who can request Biological Research Material offered through your service?
Research Stir services are generally directed to scientific research professionals and related individuals and institutions. The core of Research Stir services is arranged around life sciences including medical research, however customers from other science disciplines are welcome to use our services if needed. You have to provide institutional shipping address to request Biological Research Materials through our service. We may verify the address and your affiliation with the institution you provided in your address, before we provide any service to you. If we have any doubts of the truthfulness of the information you provided, we may request additional proofs of your affiliation with a biomedical research institution or we may decline to provide any services to you. We do not provide any services to users based at residential addresses.
9. I admire your social purpose goal of providing professional support for the biomedical research. How can I contribute to your goal?
You can support our goal in many ways. For suggestions go to the Support our Goal page. Thank you in advance!