Publication with a pinch of privatisation

yet again bends the rules in publishing the rice genome, opinions are strongly divided on whether this should be the shape of things to come.

Pete Moore(pete.moore@dial.pipex.com)
Apr 3, 2002

LONDON — Science has done it again. In 2001, despite opposition from the science community, Science published Celera's version of the human genome while allowing the company to restrict access to the genomic data underpinning the publication. On 5 April 2002 Science will publish a version of the rice genome, while permitting the researching company Syngenta to keep the data on a private database.

The rules regulating access to the data seem to be simple but many researchers are concerned that these two papers break the long-standing arrangement within the scientific community that if you publish a paper you make all of the relevant data freely available. In addition, some wonder how these rules can operate in practice.

To start with, Syngenta will place its data on its own web site. This breaks the 20-year old convention within genomics research of placing data in GenBank or similar large publicly...

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