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Good Scientific Research Sites

Oz Oz at upthorpe.demon.co.uk
Tue May 12 15:31:08 EST 1998

In article <35588730.61A4 at bbsrc.ac.uk>, Jackie Potts
<jacqueline.potts at bbsrc.ac.uk> writes
>> In article <+cE66KAlAdR1Ewy7 at upthorpe.demon.co.uk>, Oz wrote:
>> > The results get published from time to time. I do find it absolutely
>> > amazing that all the information (at least the historic ones) is not on
>> > their website for free access. It sorta looks as if it is, but access is
>> > blocked (at least it was last I looked).
>> >
>> > Attempts to gain access by emailing or writing result in no reply last
>> > time I tried.
>The Electronic Rothamsted Archive (ERA) database holds many of IACR's
>long-term datasets and can be accessed from the web. Descriptions of the
>data are freely available on our web site (http://www.res.bbsrc.ac.uk)
>but to extract the actual data you need a username and password. You can
>request access from the web by filling in a form, stating which
>dataset(s) you wish to access and why. We do try to respond to these
>requests, but users are normally asked to collaborate with a member of
>IACR staff and to sign a formal agreement that restricts their use of
>the data to a specific research project. Data are expensive to collect
>and IACR's collections of long-term data represent a considerable
>investment of scientific expertise. Whilst IACR welcomes requests for
>data from external researchers, we therefore think it is reasonable that
>research should be carried out in partnership with us.
>Jackie Potts
>ERA Database Administrator
>IACR-Rothamsted, UK.

What did I say? Here we have useful stuff (at least I presume it is
useful) paid for at least in part by public funds, much of which HAS
BEEN PUBLISHED ALREADY and you can't see it unless you 'collaborate'
with a member of Rothamstead.

You can't have reprints, you can't have preprints and you can't even see
stuff that is 30 years old IN CASE YOU MIGHT FIND IT INTERESTING.

Frankly, whilst I can see reason for this for current research,
preventing access to previously published or archaic data ABSOLUTELY
STINKS. Not only that but it is entirely against the scientific ethic.

I can only apologise to the citizens of other countries that make such
information publically available for the whole world, following the
scientific ethic. I would also point out that it is not typical of UK
universities in general, most of whome are proud to display their work
on the WWW.

Frankly this sort of statement makes me embarrased to be British.


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