Policy ForumIntellectual Property

Publication Rights in the Era of Open Data Release Policies

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Science  15 Sep 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5486, pp. 1881
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5486.1881

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The open data release policy adopted by the large-scale DNA sequencing centers has made accessible valuable information that facilitates research. Herein, we argue that the data producers' rights to receive credit for at least some portion of the analyses of the data must be protected. We suggest that this protection take the form of a specification of the probable content of the primary paper the data producers intend to publish when the data gathering is complete. Rights to publish that paper ought then be restricted to the producers unless they give permission otherwise.