As members of the Advisory Committee to the International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration (INSDC), which includes the DNA Data Bank of Japan (DDBJ), European Nucleotide Archive (ENA) and GenBank databases, we wish to remind the research community of the importance of depositing complete DNA-sequence data in these databases on publication of their results (see also S. L. Salzberg et al. Science http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aaf7672; 2016). Indeed, most journals demand a database accession number as a condition of publication.
Access to the INSDC's databases is free and unrestricted (G. Cochrane et al. Nucleic Acids Res. 44 (D1), D48–D50; 2016), enabling researchers to plan experiments and to analyse existing data. As original contributions, deposited data form part of the scientific record and are citable in the literature. Authors can also correct and update their data: these amended records may be removed from the next database release, but still remain permanently available by accession number.
The INSDC has also created major new repositories for large data collections, notably the Sequence Read Archive at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the DDBJ Sequence Read Archive and the ENA at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory's European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI). These repositories archive raw data from sequencing experiments, a crucial facility for reproducibility and reuse.
For papers dependent on sequence data from human subjects, unrestricted data release may not be possible. In these cases, we would encourage journal editors to insist on data sharing through other repositories that are not part of the INSDC, such as the NCBI's Database of Genotypes and Phenotypes, EMBL-EBI's European Genome-phenome Archive or DDBJ's Japanese Genotype-phenotype Archive.