April 17, 2005

The sharing of anthropological material and datasets

John Hawks has a very informative new post about the new NSF guidelines for the sharing of anthropological data. This paragraph really nails down the problem:
Another helpful idea would be for one of these foundations to establish a data bank. Notice what is missing in the NSF policy is any discussion of a data archive. Other areas of NSF and NIH have such archives and maintain policies of mandatory deposition of data. This is most prominent for genetics, with the GenBank archive and journal publication of most results conditional on mandatory submission of data to the archive. Thus, there is no logical impediment to the creation of such a resource by a federal agency. The fact that they chose not to implement such a policy, I find significant.

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