Box 1. The Rome Agenda

From the following article:

Post-publication sharing of data and tools

Paul N. Schofield, Tania Bubela, Thomas Weaver, Lili Portilla, Stephen D. Brown, John M. Hancock, David Einhorn, Glauco Tocchini-Valentini, Martin Hrabe de Angelis, Nadia Rosenthal & CASIMIR Rome Meeting participants

Nature 461, 171-173(10 September 2009)



Access to data and materials

  • The data on which publications are based should be made available immediately through public databases on publication. Journals should insist that mice or embryonic stem cells are deposited in a public repository within a specified time frame.
  • It should become mandatory for publications to explain where and how to access data and materials generated during the investigation. Publications should acknowledge any other data or materials used, the originating sources and availability.
  • Grant reviewers should be provided with clear guidelines to assess data- and material-sharing plans, whether these have been met in the application, and whether the mechanism of sharing proposed would meet appropriate goals if the work was to be funded or ultimately published.
  • Funding organizations should be willing explicitly to cover the costs of deposition of materials arising from projects as part of the project budget.

Licensing and patenting

  • The public sector should patent mice as research tools only under exceptional circumstances.
  • Licensing terms for mouse resources or research methods should promote the establishment of a mouse 'research commons'.
  • Materials and data should be shared under the least restrictive terms possible. Material transfer agreements for sharing materials between academic and not-for-profit institutions should be avoided or simplified.
  • Researchers should be free to breed shared mice for internal research purposes and to cross-breed to develop new mouse models.
  • Licensing of mice or methods for commercial use should include a broad reservation of rights for academic and not-for-profit institutions.
  • Licensing terms should not include inappropriate royalty reach-through or product reach-through on subsequent inventions, and institutional policy should reflect this.

Data and resource-sharing infrastructure

  • Further dedicated sustainable investment in public databases and repositories should be encouraged.
  • Funding agencies should provide researchers with clear direction on expectations for data/resource/publication sharing, and should ensure appropriate data-sharing plans at the outset of projects and facilitate sharing as data and resources are generated.

Standards and tool development

  • Data structure and semantics need standardizing and adopting.
  • Metadata should be consistently attached.
  • Investment is needed in computational tools to make use of standards and interoperability for data sharing and reuse.

Attribution and reward

  • Attribution of data or resources should be enforced by journals and databases.
  • A system for measuring attribution is needed to provide rewards for data sharing.