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June 28, 2007


Thanks for the nod, Richard. I'm not sure either--- in terms of the papers we publish, the concept of "data availability" is ever-evolving. At the moment, for example, we are wondering about computer code. Is it useful to make someone make the code of a computer program designed to help with an epidemiological, biochemical or climate model fully available? (Some of these are "off the shelf" pieces of software so not straightforward for the author of the paper). Is the "spec" (high level) more useful for the non-computer specialist reader? We often publish editorials on these questions and ask readers (scientists) to let us know what they think would be most useful. (See the author and referee website "data availability" policy page at www.nature.com/authors).

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