WASHINGTON-Sharing notebooks and other data with someone outside their laboratory is an idea that is anathema to many scientists. But they may need to get used to it as part of the price of performing science with public funds.

The search for a better system to record, retain, and share data is emerging as a key issue in the ongoing debate over how to curb scientific misconduct. It promises to remain a significant issue long after scientists have finished arguing about whether Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) was justified in his grilling of Nobel laureate David Baltimore last month in connection with allegations of errors in a 1986 Cell paper that the MIT biologist coauthored.

At the same time, the two days of hearings before Dingell's oversight and investigations panel of the House Energy and Commerce Committee (see excerpts on page 11) have highlighted some of the problems with how researchers...

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