DENVER, CO — New international standards for publishing papers on security-sensitive biological materials, released by journal editors Saturday (February 15), challenge scientists and their editors to withhold data that could aid the development of biological weapons.
The group of 32 journal editors entreated their peers to deal responsibly with safety and security issues and design new processes to ease effective review of these issues. Editors also should ensure that manuscripts provide sufficient detail for independent verification and remove information deemed dangerous to the public, the group advised.
Ron Atlas, president of the American Society for Microbiology, urged other editors to embrace these proposed guidelines, issued during a press conference at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Denver.
"What we've done is international: It can't be done by one country alone," Atlas said. "We are asking all journals to begin to protect [sensitive...