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Sharing Publication-Related Data and Materials:

Responsibilities of Authorship in the Life Sciences


The National Research Council created, in October 2001, the Committee on Responsibilities of Authorship in the Biological Sciences, whose members were chosen from academe and the commercial sector for their expertise 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.

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