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Use of sequence databases - ethics?

Wolfgang Wuster bss166 at bangor.ac.uk
Mon Dec 9 11:51:30 EST 1996

I was wondering whether there is a widespread consensus among molecular
biologists regarding the extent to which published sequences can be
re-used, and published in one's own name without it becoming a case of

For instance, if researcher A is working on the phylogeny of a group of
organisms, would he be within his rights to to download a bunch of DNA
sequences for the same group of organisms, obtained by researcher B,
integrate them within his analysis, and pubish the results without
discussion with the researcher who spent years obtaining the sequences in
the first place? Are there any limits depending on what proportion of 
another worker's data one uses?

I'd be grateful for any input from readers of the ng/list.
Wolfgang Wuster
School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor, UK
e-mail: w.wuster at bangor.ac.uk

Thought for the day: If you see a light at the end of the tunnel,
it is probably a train coming your way.

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