charges for clones?

Bruce Roe BROE at AARDVARK.UCS.UOKNOR.EDU
Thu May 23 07:55:00 EST 1991


From:	IN%"ALSOBROOK%yalemed.bitnet at genbank.bio.net" 22-MAY-1991 17:23:44.54
To:	methods at genbank.bio.net
CC:	
Subj:	charges for clones?

John Alsobrook writes:

>I would like the network participants' opinion of a recent experience we
>had in requesting an aliquot of a DNA clone; the sequence was published
>several years ago in Nature. We wrote the authors requesting an aliquot,
>and described the experiments we intended to do.  One month later we
>received via US mail (50 cents postage
>on the envelope) an eppendorf with 4 or 5 ul, and a letter which stated
>"Incidentally, there is a charge of $50.00 to cover the cost of
>handling. Please make your check payable to ...".  I've only been in
>molecular biology for 8 or 9 years, but I've NEVER seen ANYONE ask this
>sort of fee for one (count them, 1) clone.  Does this sound ridiculous
>to anyone else? How could handling cost anywhere near that much? I would
>really appreciate hearing from anyone with an opinion or similar
>experience.

John,
	Yes this sounds rediculous and then some.

	I send out clones to those who request them and from time to
time it can be a pain, but to charge for "handling" after the fact
and without prior notification is rather unethical.  If there is a
large demand for a clone then maybe they should deposit the clone 
with the ATCC and let them distribute it.  A fee is charged by ATCC
but well worth the cost and assurance of viability.
	
	On the other hand, $50 is a small fee to pay for a sample if
it is valuable for your work.  When you think of what the prices for
restriction enzymes, etc are this is peanuts.  Also, of the $50, which 
ethically should be deposited in a University account, the University
will take it's cut of indirect costs leaving the PI with maybe enough
to cover the cost of postage.  Oh yes, don't forget that that $50 check
the University would write to cover the charge also would have indirect
costs added to it and the real cost would be maybe $75.

	My vote is to send them cash to cover the postage and a nice
cover letter thanking them for the clone but informing them that your
university will not allow paying bills for which a purchase order has
not been issued.

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