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Sci. Signal., 27 January 2009
Vol. 2, Issue 55, p. eg2
[DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.255eg2]

EDITORIAL GUIDES

Freedom of Materials

Michael B. Yaffe1,2*

1 Chief Scientific Editor of Science Signaling, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1200 New York Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20005, USA.
2 David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Departments of Biology and Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

Abstract: Despite the best policies, shared data and materials often come with so many strings attached that they are essentially unusable. Furthermore, a Catch-22 exists for academic scientists who must disclose structural data at the time of publication of the biological effects of a small molecule, because, armed with the structure, commercial entities can rapidly make and patent related molecules, thus hampering academic research. Although companies that publish original research are bound by the data- and material-sharing policies of journals, in practice they may legally restrict use and access once molecules are patented.

* Corresponding author. E-mail: myaffe{at}aaas.org

Citation: M. B. Yaffe, Freedom of Materials. Sci. Signal. 2, eg2 (2009).

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