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Fine line for reporting results

Royal Society investigation to look at way drug companies and charities make data public

Stephen Pincock(spincock@hotmail.com)

The fine line that drug companies must tread when reporting data about their products is one focus of a new investigation by the UK's Royal Society into how the results of scientific research are made public.

On August 11, the society formally announced the launch of the investigation, which was prompted by a string of controversies about how and when scientists communicate their research results to the public.

A working group under the chairmanship of Patrick Bateson, the society's biological secretary, will produce a guidance document in the fall. It will be sent to anyone receiving funding from the Royal Society and to the fellows. It will also be made available to the wider scientific community.

The group will look at the peer review process, but it will also be paying close attention to the way companies, charities, and other groups make their data public and to the quality...

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