Monday, July 18, 2016

Zika Data From the Lab, and Right to the Web; New York Times, 7/18/16

Donald G. McNeil Jr., New York Times; Zika Data From the Lab, and Right to the Web:
"Dr. O’Connor’s decision was the most radical manifestation of a trend already underway. In early February, more than 30 of the most prominent academic journals, research institutions and research funders signed a “Statement on Data Sharing in Public Health Emergencies” in which the journals agreed to make all articles about the Zika virus available free instead of charging their subscription fees, which can be hundreds of dollars.
The journals also agreed to consider articles that had first been posted for comment on public forums like bioRxiv, which is hosted by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island. The funders agreed to make everyone receiving their money share data as widely as possible...
“I never planned to be an evangelist,” he said. “I was happy toiling in anonymity, so this is a surreal experience. We all grew up in the same system: You do a study, you submit it to a journal, and your place in the hierarchy depends on the quality of the journal it appears in.”
“If it’s all you’ve known, you assume it’s the right way. But if you’ve got data that can contribute to the public health response during an epidemic — is it really yours to hang onto?”"

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