Free access costs money

Microarray researchers support data-sharing but still struggle to fund repositories.

Peg Brickley(pegbrickley@hotmail.com)
Feb 20, 2003

A recent National Academies of Science (NAS) report insisting that research data be shared openly was an easy sell to scientists. But convincing funding sources that they should help pay the freight for sharing huge loads of microarray data is not so easy, researchers say.

Released in early February, the NAS study, "Sharing Publication-Related Data and Materials: Responsibilities of Authorship in the Biological Life Sciences," concluded that scientists who publish findings have an ethical duty to allow free and open access to supporting data. Despite a policy of limiting access to specific "sensitive" data announced last week by a group of journal and author representatives, the principle of open data-sharing remains fundamental, say many researchers for whom the NAS report merely stated the obvious.

"That's a restatement of my own views, and probably the views of a majority of the community," said Gavin Sherlock, director of microarray informatics...

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