News and CommentENVIRONMENTAL POLICY

Researchers and Lawmakers Clash Over Access to Data

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Science  25 Jul 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5325, pp. 467
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5325.467

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Summary

In the battle over new clean air standards, scientists and policy-makers are skirmishing over an issue close to scientists' hearts: who "owns" raw data. Industry groups have charged that the authors of a key study on the health effects of airborne particles have resisted sharing data collected with taxpayer money--a reanalysis of which, they argue, might weaken the scientific basis of the standards. The researchers, however, are reluctant to make the data widely available because they contain confidential information on their subjects.