Policies put into place by major funding agencies like the National Institutes of Health, and to a lesser extent by scientific journals, appear to be meeting the goal of increasing the sharing of scientific resources among life science investigators.

As reported in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, 65 percent of surveyed investigators at major U.S. research institutions believed that NIH policies instituted in recent years had markedly improved the sharing of scientific data. But the survey also identified some unexpected problems, including the number of researchers who share materials or resources without completing legal agreements required by their institutions.

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