Policy Forum

Should Non-Peer-Reviewed Raw DNA Sequence Data Release Be Forced on the Scientific Community?

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Science  25 Oct 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5287, pp. 534-536
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5287.534


The authors argue that the early release of unedited, unfinished genome sequence information into the public domain, as currently done by some sequencing centers on a nightly basis, should not be a policy imposed on all laboratories involved in genome research. Such data are presented without the benefit of either peer review or the researchers' own analysis, and their early release may even subvert the peer-review process. Also, as the number of genome sequencing projects increases, the amount of raw data added to public databases would become unmanageably large. Without rigorous quality control procedures and annotation, genomic sequence data are not necessarily useful.