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April 17, 2002

Withholding of Data Among Academic Geneticists—Reply

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2002;287(15):1939-1940. doi:10.1001/jama.287.15.1935

In Reply: We agree with Dr Beaulieu about the importance of data infrastructures, and especially electronic databases, in sharing some forms of scientific data. In fact, one of the authors of our study has examined the significance of databases in scientific communication and concluded that a detailed analysis of the precise policies and designs of these varied systems is needed to understand their impact.1 Clearly our study was not designed to address this issue. We do not mean to suggest that scientific communication infrastructures—among which we would include not only databases, repositories, and stock centers but also traditional scientific journals—are unimportant. However, when such infrastructures are unavailable, inadequate, or unused, direct sharing of data becomes important. Furthermore, we know from the results of our study that scientific communication infrastructures have not supplanted individual requests coming to individual researchers.

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