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Re: Kirkaldy and SVP Ethics Statement
> Specimens legally held in private hands are no less a part
> of our national heritage than those in museums, and if they carry
> scientific information, that information should be disseminated.
> Manuscripts should not be rejected simply because the specimens
> are not in a museum, rather manuscripts should be evaluated on
> their merits.
From Nature Guide to Authors:
5.3 Materials. As a condition of publication, authors are required to
make materials and methods used freely available to academic researchers for
their own use. Authors are required to state in the Methods whether there are
conditions for use of methods and materials, and to provide full disclosure
of the conditions on their website.
From Science Magazine Information for Contributors:
Conditions of Acceptance:
When a paper is accepted for publication in Science, it is understood
that: any reasonable request for materials and methods necessary to verify
the conclusions of the experiments reported must be honored.
A particular case in point is the recent posting by Dinogeorge on the "Odd
Chinese Dinosaur." Suppose I found/bought this fossil and wanted to publish
a description of it. I write (such as was in the press release) that "the
cranium, teeth, scapula, vertebra, ribs, shank, coccyx [sic] and the claw of
the dinosaur skeleton were all preserved intact. The skull is 0.35 meters
long and 2.5 meters wide [sic!]. The length between the neck vertebra and the
pygal [sic] is 2.35 meters, and the tailbone [sic] is 1.8 meters long."
I submit this description to a journal, along with a few digital pictures and
page costs, then put the specimen in my underground vault, refusing to let
anyone else see what is after all MY research. Since this is an
extraordinary fossil, certainly my description is enough to satisfy the
requirement that something is better than nothing. So what if Chris Brochu
is skeptical of the skull measurements or Tom Holtz is astounded by the
finding of the first dinosaur coccyx, which seems to indicate the
phylogenetic relationship between dinosaurs and tailless apes.