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Sharing Publication-Related Data and Materials: Responsibilities of Authorship in the Life Sciences
and medicine and their experience with issues related to intellectual property rights, scientific publishing, data, software, technology transfer, and the structure of the scientific enterprise. The committee was given the following charge:
To conduct a study to evaluate the responsibilities of authors of scientific papers in the life sciences to share data and materials referenced in their publications. The study will examine requirements imposed on authors by journals, identify common practices in the community, and explore whether a single set of accepted standards for sharing exists. The study will also explore whether more appropriate standards should be developed, including what principles should underlie them and what rationale there might be for allowing exceptions to them.
To meet its charge and to obtain input from the breadth of the life-sciences community, the committee organized a workshop, “Community Standards for Sharing Publication-Related Data and Materials,” which was held on February 25, 2002, at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC. The workshop was organized around five hypothetical scenarios (see Appendix B) that served as the basis for examining the wide array of complex issues related to authors’ responsibilities for sharing data and materials. More than 70 workshop participants—the keynote speaker, invited panelists, and audience members—discussed the issues in plenary sessions and smaller working groups. The participants comprised distinguished members of the life-sciences community, including researchers and administrators from universities, federal agencies, and private industry; scientific-journal editors; and members of the legal and university technology-transfer communities.
Scope of the Study and Structure of the Report
This report presents a synthesis of the discussions at the workshop and the issues considered by the committee in its deliberations. The report puts forward the committee’s findings and recommendations on