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Use of sequence databases - ethics?

Diane R. Stothard dianes at infect.dmed.iupui.edu
Wed Dec 11 18:01:17 EST 1996

I have published papers with others' sequences in them. I think they are 
public domain, yes, but I have always cited the references for data that 
are not mine. In this way, the data can be used but credit is still 
given. I think it would be a mistake not to use data in databases...it 
would be like ignoring it. Sometimes, additional data can support or 
refute a previous hypothesis. Therefore, it is always good to include 
whatever is available.

Francois Coulier wrote:
> On Mon, 9 Dec 1996, Wolfgang Wuster wrote:
> >
> > 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.
> >
> > 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.
> >
> >
> I would say that when a sequence is release in a public database, it fall
> in the bublic domain, and therefore can be used to the same extent as a
> sequence published on paper.
> It is not the same with private databases (i.e. TIGR database), but for
> accessing these, you need to sign an agreement on the first place, which
> usually restrict your right to use the sequences.

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