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SIEN401 Scientific Knowledge and Innovation

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Introduction to the handling of scientific knowledge and innovation as intellectual property, with emphasis on journal articles and patents as the primary repositories of scientific and technological knowhow.

A specific and novel focus of this paper is developing student understanding of proprietary knowledge and the potential commercial opportunities of research findings. Students will learn about the intellectual property rights of themselves and others, including personal and indigenous rights, and how the strategic disclosure of research outputs through publication and patents can be optimised. Critical evaluation and strategy skills will be universally applicable in research and business and ultimately help shape research direction through awareness of the "state of the art" and "freedom to operate".

Paper title Scientific Knowledge and Innovation
Paper code SIEN401
Subject Science
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2019
Domestic Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for 2019 have not yet been set
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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Admission subject to approval from the Director, Applied Science Programme.
Suitable for graduates, researchers and professionals of all disciplines interested in understanding the management of scientific knowledge in any setting.
Teaching staff

Convenor: Stephen Sowerby
Lecturer: Stephen Sowerby, plus guest presenters

Paper Structure

The paper comprises 3 modules:

  • Module 1: Proprietary and scientific knowledge as foundations for intellectual property: Its forms and principle methods of disclosure (e.g. journal articles, patents).
  • Module 2: Discovery and knowledge evaluation: Methods of searching, finding and reviewing knowledge (e.g. journal articles, patents) in the repositories that hold them.
  • Module 3 Strategic management of scientific knowledge (e.g. disclosure by publication and patent process, methodology and strategy).
Teaching Arrangements
One 3-hour seminar per week for 8 weeks, plus independent work, preparation and written assignments.
Textbooks are not required for this paper.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Critical thinking, Information literacy.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will develop
  • An understanding of scientific knowledge as a basis for intellectual property
  • Skills in the discovery and critical evaluation of different forms of scientific and proprietary knowledge
  • An understanding of mechanisms and processes of the strategic management of new scientific knowledge

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Not offered in 2019

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system