September 1995 to plan the workshop, a task in which is was assisted by eight invited liaisons from federal agencies and scientific societies. The conclusions and recommendations of this report are however solely those of the committee.
The workshop held in Washington, D.C., on January 22–23, 1996, was built around six case studies of large-scale resource sharing, representing models of two very different institutional arrangements: "repository-type" activities and "user facilities" or centers. The resources shared by the case studies include biological materials such as whole animals, information, and instruments or equipment. By analyzing these cases in some detail, the committee hoped to better understand the roles of different institutions in influencing sharing, to identify common problems that stand in the way of effective sharing, and to suggest some approaches to their solution.
The American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) was founded in 1925 to serve as a national repository and distribution center for cultures of microorganisms. Since that time, viruses, animal and plant cell cultures, and recombinant DNA materials have been added. A private, nonprofit organization dedicated to the acquisition, preservation, authentication, and distribution of diverse biological materials, ATCC is now the largest general service culture collection in the world, preserving and providing these materials for use by qualified people engaged in science, industry, and education.
An international scientific effort that began in 1990, the goal of the Multinational Coordinated Arabidopsis Thaliana Genome Research Project is to understand the physiology, biochemistry, growth, and development of a flowering plant at the molecular level. The remarkable collaborative spirit of the participants has made it a successful model of scientific cooperation among about 3,000 participating scientists and scientific administrators in Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas. Two Arabidopsis stock centers preserve and distribute seeds, clones, and other biological materials to the large Arabidopsis research community worldwide. Shared databases include a comprehensive collection of many types of information; an on-line system primarily devoted to stock center operations but, like the other information