David Lipman responded that people at the NCBI have been discussing this with David Klein, who is active with the JBC on that issue. There are standards that people have tried to agree upon for what is the minimum amount of data necessary to be submitted to a database. Unfortunately, that minimum is so high that a number of scientists are not willing to do that. Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO), which is an NCBI database, has a somewhat lower threshold in terms of the requirements for submission, but the NCBI is in discussions with the international group on that issue. GEO is growing faster now. Some journals require submission.

He also seconded Bob Simoni's point about the critical role that journals have in terms of getting data in a useful form into these databases. Despite the fact that databases are useful, scientists often do not want to spend their time on data submission. What they are judged by is not what they put into a database, but what they publish. The role of the journals is absolutely critical, and JBC was one of the real pioneer journals in pushing submission to the sequence databases and getting essentially 100 percent compliance.

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