BOX 3-4

Sharing Publication-Related Data and Materials

In 2003 the National Research Council Committee on Responsibilities of Authorship in the Biological Sciences released a report that focused directly on the issues discussed in this chapter. In that report, the committee established what it called “the uniform principle for sharing integral data and materials expeditiously” (UPSIDE). They described this principle as follows:

Community standards for sharing publication-related data and materials should flow from the general principle that the publication of scientific information is intended to move science forward. More specifically, the act of publishing is a quid pro quo in which authors receive credit and acknowledgment in exchange for disclosure of their scientific findings. An author’s obligation is not only to release data and materials to enable others to verify or replicate published findings (as journals already implicitly or explicitly require) but also to provide them in a form on which other scientists can build with further research. All members of the scientific community—whether working in academia, government, or a commercial enterprise—have equal responsibility for upholding community standards as participants in the publication system, and all should be equally able to derive benefits from it.


The committee also identified five corollary principles associated with sharing publication-related data, software, and materials. For example, the committee stated that “authors should include in their publications the data, algorithms, or other information that is central or integral to the publication—that is, whatever is necessary to support the major claims of the paper and would enable one skilled in the art to verify or replicate the claims.”

The committee noted that its purview extended only to the biological sciences. It also stated, however, that “in the committee’s view, there should be a single scientific community that operates under a single set of principles regarding the pursuit of knowledge. This includes a common ethic with regard to the integrity of the scientific process and a long-held commitment to the validation of concepts of experimentation and later verification or refutation of published observations.”


SOURCE: National Research Council. 2003. Sharing Publication-Related Data and Materials: Responsibilities of Authorship in the Life Sciences. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

data and other information supporting research results that emphasize openness and expanded access, including research performed by companies.7

Although the charge to our committee excluded privacy and other issues

7

National Research Council. 2003. Sharing Publication-Related Data and Materials: Responsibilities of Authorship in the Life Sciences. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.



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