Editorial GuidePolicy

Freedom of Materials

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Science Signaling  27 Jan 2009:
Vol. 2, Issue 55, pp. eg2
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.255eg2

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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.

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