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Annu Rev Genomics Hum Genet. 2017 Aug 31;18:389-415. doi: 10.1146/annurev-genom-083115-022515. Epub 2017 Apr 17.

Sharing Data to Build a Medical Information Commons: From Bermuda to the Global Alliance.

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School for the Future of Innovation in Society, Arizona State University, Washington, DC 20009; email:
School of Humanities, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia.
Program in History of Science, Department of History, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544.


The Human Genome Project modeled its open science ethos on nematode biology, most famously through daily release of DNA sequence data based on the 1996 Bermuda Principles. That open science philosophy persists, but daily, unfettered release of data has had to adapt to constraints occasioned by the use of data from individual people, broader use of data not only by scientists but also by clinicians and individuals, the global reach of genomic applications and diverse national privacy and research ethics laws, and the rising prominence of a diverse commercial genomics sector. The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health was established to enable the data sharing that is essential for making meaning of genomic variation. Data-sharing policies and practices will continue to evolve as researchers, health professionals, and individuals strive to construct a global medical and scientific information commons.


data sharing; knowledge commons; model organisms; patents; science policy; sociology of science

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