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Vol. 25 No. 2
March-April 2003

IUPAC Wire | News and information on IUPAC, its fellows, and members organizations
See also www.iupac.org/news

Freedom of Access to Primary Experimental Data

For science to progress it is critical that research results are disseminated as widely as possible, and in particular that primary experimental data are freely available in perpetuity. In 1998, as a result of concern amongst the scientific community over this issue, the International Council for Science (ICSU) set up an Inter-Union Bioinformatics Group (IUBG) to consider this and related matters, with particular emphasis on bioinformatics. The issue of free access is particularly relevant now in relation to the availability of data from genomic and proteomic studies.

The purpose of the group was defined as follows:

  • to monitor worldwide developments in bioinformatics
  • to take measures as required to ensure and facilitate inter-process communication, such as standardization of data formats
  • to act when the continuity or reliability of key informatics providers is endangered
  • to act when the free access to data in the public domain is endangered
  • to catalyze actions by the appropriate authorities in areas of the world where Internet access to servers and data providers is technically inadequate
  • to organize relevant educational activities

IUBG released a report in May 2002, endorsed by ICSU in September 2002, covering many of the above topics. It is available at <md.chem.rug.nl/ ~berends/IUBG-FinalReport.html>. The report contains a number of statements and recommendations aimed at international unions, scientific societies, funding agencies, legislators, for profit organizations, publishers and authors, committees for nomenclature and standardization, and educational institutions.

Please direct questions or comments to Alan McNaught <adm@rsc.org>, IUPAC representative on the IUBG.

www.iupac.org/news/archives/2002/IUBG-report.html

 


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