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Use of sequence databases - ethics?

Keith Bradnam pdxkrb at evol.nott.ac.uk
Wed Dec 11 17:38:50 EST 1996

Ed Rybicki <ed at molbiol.uct.ac.za> wrote:
>> From:          Wolfgang Wuster <bss166 at bangor.ac.uk>
>> 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
>> plagiarism. 
>I have been in exactly this position a couple of times, with
>sequence analyses of both poty- and geminiviruses - and I took the
>view that if a sequence is published in a database (which with plant
>viruses usually means it has been published in print as well), then
>it is "public domain" in that I can use it as long as I correctly
>cite who sequenced it.  I think this constitutes "fair use" as far as 
>databased sequences are concerned.

I think it would get rather unfeasible to end up citing
all references to all sequences referred to in any given study.
This is particular true when you are dealing with analyses that
compare whole chromosomes or even whole genomes.  This sort
of genome anaylis will continue with the advent of more genome 
sequences being published.  For genomes such as yeast, the total number
of references needed to make sure all sequencing groups had been
acknowledged would be immense.  

Keith B.
-_-_-_-_-_-_-   The strongest of hearts, are easily broken,                   
  -_-_-_-_-      by the softest of words, so easily spoken 
      -  	     http://evol.nott.ac.uk/~pdxkrb/ 

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