E.3 Publication Policy (Tag: April 2008)

April 2008 March 2010 November 2011, current
POLICY: The individual research groups in the ICGC are free to publish the results of their own efforts in independent publications at any time (subject, of course, to any policies of any collaborations in which they may be participating)

In their individual papers, Consortium participants will not be restricted to describing the methods developed for the project, but can and should expand into describing biological insights that arise from their analyses. To facilitate comparison of data among different groups participating in the ICGC, all publications by Consortium members should include explicit data on quality metrics, possibly including a common reference set of analytes agreed upon by the Consortium, e.g., nucleic acids derived from a common cell line or other source; such papers should also explicitly include a statement that the quality metrics are those that have been adopted by the ICGC (to promote their wide acceptance across the broad research community).

Users of Consortium data, whether members of the Consortium or not, should be aware of the publication status of the data they use and treat them accordingly. For example, all investigators, including other Consortium members, should obtain the consent of the data producers (this term includes clinical contributors and other members of an ICGC collaborative team) before using unpublished data in their individual publications, and the data producers should not unreasonably withhold this consent.

ICGC members will not have privileged access to data from other members of the Consortium. Rather, all data shared by the Consortium members will be obtained from the data that has been released to public databases.

Investigators outside of the ICGC are free to use data generated by ICGC members, either en masse or specific subsets, but are asked to follow the guidelines developed at the Ft. Lauderdale meeting. Specifically, data users should cite the source of the data and should acknowledge the clinical contributors and the data producers from the ICGC. In addition, the data users are asked to recognize the interests of the data producers to publish reports on the generation and analysis of their data, as described previously. Datasets from ICGC members are released to public databases as pre-publication data and remain unpublished until they appear in peer-reviewed publications. Outside investigators who perform an in-depth analysis of data from ICGC members and are interested in publishing a report before the data producers do so should discuss their results with the data producer(s) and are encouraged to establish collaborations. However, ICGC members are not required to collaborate with any outside investigators. All investigators, through their roles as journal and grant reviewers, should enforce a high standard of respect for the scientific contribution of the data producers.

This description of the ICGC data release policy is directed primarily at issues concerning the use of Consortium data in scientific publications. The intent of the policy is to accelerate the use of the data by the global scientific community while, at the same time, allowing the data producers to get appropriate scientific credit for their work through publications. To facilitate this goal, the data producers agree not to restrict the use of the data by others, while the data users are encouraged to act in a manner that is consistent with this policy providing unrestricted access to pre-publication data.