Policy Forum

Genomic Sequence Information Should Be Released Immediately and Freely in the Public Domain

Science  25 Oct 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5287, pp. 533-534
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5287.533


The author endorses the early release into the public domain of all genomic sequence data produced by sequencing centers. Such informal prerelease of data before the finishing stage would have many advantages for both research and commercial exploitation. The data would be of sufficiently high quality to be useful in biological and genetic studies, and restrictions on their early release would impede scientific progress. Free release of raw genomic sequence would lead to unimpeded competition among academic and commercial interests to create new therapeutic agents.