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Science  10 Oct 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5336, pp. 212-213
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5336.212

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Free exchange of materials is supposed to be a hallmark of academic research, but nowadays, if you ask a colleague for help you will probably have to sign away some cherished rights, including limits on the freedom to publish. And colleagues eager to send out samples and reagents are sometimes being forced to hold off until proprietary rights are secured. These barriers are adding to the toll that intense competition in biomedicine is already taking on the tradition of sharing among academics. National Institutes of Health director Harold Varmus, responding to growing complaints from researchers, has asked a panel to see if some ground rules can be drafted to curb such restraints.