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 bringing support to scientists seeking Biological Research Materials, we also promote scientific research through providing a stage for establishing research collaboration, sharing and exchange of other research products and services as well as we provide other scientific research resources, which none of the existing Biological Research Material repositories provide. We do it all in one universal platform.
2. How are you different from the existing non-profit Biological Research Materials repositories like ATCC, The Jackson Laboratory, Addgene and others?
First of all, we are not a non-profit organization, what gives a great advantage for our service and 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 scientific 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 Material Providers, which non of the non-profit repositories does. As such we do the fair thing of reimbursing the Providers for the funds they invested in generating the Biological Research Materials respective to the sample sizes they offer. In effect we contribute to the advancement of biomedical scientific research by generating funds for the Provider researchers, helping to increase the recognition of their scientist work and promoting of 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. Besides, as it can be expected, some of the Materials might be extremely difficult to maintain, store and propagate, and may require expert knowledge, skills and frequently unique non commercial equipment that only the Provider lab could deliver. The Biological Research Materials that researchers request most frequently are the products of breaking research that was not generated in standard methods. As such, it is only practical to leave the maintenance of the unique Biological Research Materials to inventing them Provider scientists.
3. How are you making profit?
As mentioned above we are a Social Purpose Company, and as such we are for profit company, and we make profit to sustain our social purpose activity and to adequately fund the Providers of Biological Research Materials, charging fees for our service. The fees recover Provider scientist prorated costs of generating the Biological Research Material samples they deliver, and also include our administrative fee to sustain our activity. 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 service pages as appropriate. All together thanks to our small size team of first hand lab bench experts, and practically nonexistent administrative fringe 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 doesn't compare in any way 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 fee for your services 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?
The claim by certain non profit and academic institutions that charges by for profit organizations performing services for scientist drain the limited today research funding and should be rather provided for free by the academic institutions themselves is simply ridiculous. Working for so many years in academic institutions we know it very well, and you know it very well that in fact any "free" services of academic institutions are never free, and in fact carry a tremendous administrative costs on the institutional research. To provide such services requires institutions to assign administrative staff to do the job (frequently opening new positions just for that), and to pay salaries and benefits to the designated stuff, in fact draining even more research funds that any small size, independent organization with true experts (and not just administrative clerks) would do. In this respect the claim of doing such services "for free to scientist", by usually already oversized academic administration, is ridiculous and if such activity would have been undertaken by the academic institution it would simply lead to further swelling of the administration and redirecting institutional funds from research to administration. For sure, in such case there would be no financial profit for the scientist, such as our service can provide.
This is the most important part of our service advantage, that we reward the scientists with research funds for their biological resources sharing activity. In opposite such services provided by academic institutions would benefit financially the administrative staff instead. In each case the research funds are in stake, but we channel them back to research benches and not to administrative staff, and this is in line with our declared social purpose. Our legal status of Social Purpose Company (not to be legally bound to maximize the company profit when pursuing our declared social purpose) gives us this unique advantage here to directly help and fund the scientists. Otherwise, such services provided by academic institutions would end up promoting the further swelling of academic administrations by intra institutional re-channeling of the already scarce research funds.
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 to share 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 including medicine. Research Stir welcomes proposals 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.
7. What needs to be provided in the submission form for the offered Biological Research Material to share?
A full and accurate description of the offered Material, including sample name, size, maintenance, storage and propagation requirements, all regulatory requirements (e.g. human subject institutional IRB approval, animal work and hazardous compounds requirements) - as listed in the submission form should be included in the submitted listing. Listings may include text descriptions, graphics, pictures, and other content relevant to the offered Materials. References to published information on the sample generation is highly recommended when available. All submitted listings must be assigned to an appropriate category. If no category or 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 in residential addresses.
9. I admire your social purpose goal of providing help to the scientific 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!