SRHRL Past Projects: Intellectual Property

With the eventual integration of the internet in modern society, the landscape of scientific research has changed tremendously in recent years.  Expeditious advances in information technology have complemented the fast pace in which science progresses.  However, in the midst of this rapid change, researchers must not overlook the challenges that the technology may present.  AAAS has played its role by promoting dialogue about the ethical, legal, social, and policy issues in cases such as anonymity, electronic publication, cryptography, and network use and abuse.

[1995-2000] Cryptography, Scientific Freedom, and Human Rights

AAAS has encouraged the development of ethical standards by scientists to encourage responsible conduct, stressing the importance of protecting established cultural and ethical norms of information privacy and data integrity. AAAS has provided training in cryptography to help human rights organizations ensure the security of their electronic communications. Through publication, meetings, briefings, and letters to government officials, AAAS has also voiced its concerns on restricting communication of unclassified research and technical information.

[1993-1994] Ethical and Legal Aspects of Computer and Network Use and Abuse

The emerging global information infrastructure (GII) was a new and exciting environment full of promise and opportunity for research, education, commerce, entertainment, social change, and democratic governance, but where laws and ethical standards remained unwritten, and where individuals and institutions are still testing the bounds of acceptable behavior.


[2004] In Search of J. Doe: Can Anonymity Survive in Our Post-9/11 Society?

A May 2004 forum discussed whether living anonymously is possible in a post-9/11 society.

[1997-1998] Anonymous Communications on the Internet

With widespread accessibility to the internet, AAAS explored the issues of online anonymity and pseudonymity.

Electronic Publishing

[2002] Intellectual Property and Electronic Publishing in Science

This report describes the challenges that advances in information technology pose for intellectual property law, and identifies a set of “core values” that should be embedded in a system of scientific publishing.

[1999-2000] Defining and Certifying Electronic Publication in Science

An international working group prepared a document on what constitutes “publication” in science in the electronic environment.

[1998] AAAS/UNESCO/ICSU Workshop on Developing Practices and Standards for Electronic Publishing in Science

The project explored what constitutes a publication, peer review, citation, privacy, intellectual property rights, and integrity and authentication of material and archiving in an age of electronic publishing.