By virtue of its hyper-connected network of scientists and inherent mission to increase efficiency, LabPair is uniquely poised to address many social inequities and ethical issues in STEM. These issues were the inspiration behind LabPair’s inception and drive LabPair’s commitment to employing a socially-conscientious business model. These goals include:
LabPair's Revolutionary Social Mission
Promote animal welfare
No scientist likes to sacrifice animals as part of their research, but we can strive to respect laboratory animals by assuring that every bit of tissue is put to use. After sample collection, most scientists save as much tissue as possible for potential use in future research. Unfortunately, scientists often have difficulty finding others who could use these banked samples and they are often discarded due to age and space limitations. Meanwhile, the scientists who could have used those samples proceed to gather their own, resulting in wasted time, money, and unnecessary loss of life.
LabPair connects researchers who need tissue samples with those who have pre-existing banked animal specimens. This is a win-win for both labs, as the lab providing samples receives addition co-authored publications for extra material, and the receiving lab saves time and money. The greatest benefit is that we promote animal welfare by reducing and refining the use of animals in research.
Minimize the environmental footprint of scientific research
Research has an extensive environmental footprint. Laboratories use an enormous amount of energy on constantly-running equipment such as freezers, refrigerators, incubators, chemical hoods, and autoclaves. Most laboratories perform their experiments using bulky single-use plastics, such as tubes, vials, dishes, serological pipettes, and pipette tips that create an enormous volume of waste. Despite containment procedures, hazardous laboratory chemicals can still prose a threat to human health and the environment and must be stored in specialized landfills. Research also uses large quantities of water that must be made ultra-pure through energy-intensive processes.
LabPair's mission is to increase the efficiency, eliminate redundancy, and prevent waste in the research process. This will result in fewer resources being used and will reduce the adverse environmental effects associated with research.
Promote resource equity
In the United States there are approximately 4,313 higher education institutions, with about 266 qualifying as major research centers. These "R1" and "R2" level centers are major hubs for STEM, receiving the majority of research grant funding. As a result they tend to concentrate technology, expertise, resources. In comparison, smaller colleges and universities are often very resource limited and geographically isolated, which limits faculty research programs and opportunities for students.
LabPair helps bridge these disparities by facilitating collaborations between top tier research universities and smaller educational institutions. Smaller institutions enjoy expanded access to data, samples, and skills typically only present at large research hubs. In turn, larger universities benefit from wider exposure, more collaboration opportunities, and an expanded pool of talent.
Promote robust science through the reduction of publication pressure and publication bias
Succinctly described as ‘publish or perish,’ publication pressure describes the immense pressure to publish research findings in order to achieve career success and secure future research funding. However, the ability to do so is constrained by limited research funding and intense competition. Many scientific journals also tend to favor positive, innovating findings, which leads to the omission of unclear or negative results, a problem called “publication bias.” Publication pressure can even lead to more serious issues that compromise the integrity of research. These issues have led to a trend of non-reproducible findings in scientific literature, which represents an enormous loss of resources and time.
How do you publish negative results and orphan data in peer-reviewed journals? You find a collaborator on LabPair who has complementary data or studies and combine your work. By publishing together, both authors gain additional peer-reviewed publications for their work, with the potential to produce a higher-impact story. This approach reduces publication bias and alleviates publication pressure.
Improve researchers' mental health
The combined effects of publication pressure, intense competition, limited funding, and career uncertainty create a very stressful work environment for researchers. The stress of operating within this system extracts an enormous toll on researchers' mental health in the form of imposter syndrome, anxiety, and depression. Thus, for researchers the extensive inefficiency of research and publication pressure makes a hard job even harder.
By increasing the likelihood that researchers can make use of all their resources through newfound collaborations (and acquire new resources more easily), LabPair helps researchers operate more efficiently and become more productive. This reduces many of the stressors associated with research and makes for happier scientists.