CryoEM scientists: PLEASE can we have your OPEN DATA

Typed in support of a community that cares passionately into Arcturus

I’ve spent two days this week at a useful meeting run by JISC (Simon Hodson) on Managing Research Data. As readers of this blog know I am a passionately supporter of the “Data wants to be free” (I know there is some data which cannot be free… but most of it does). If you don’t believe this, here is a grassroots cry which no-one could ignore: from ( ).

This is a typical example of multidisciplinary science. CryoEM is often complementary to XRay crystallography (these are both techniques for finding out what protein molecules look like – think of microscopes which magnify 10^8 times. ).

In essence:

  • WE need YOUR data to help us understand OUR data.
  • PLEASE can we have it.

There is the implication that it works the other way round. So collaboration rather than isolation is the most productive approach.


Request for the immediate availability of cryoEM maps


To:  CryoEM community, EMDB, Journals

CryoEM is an important tool to describe the structures of large macromolecules that currently escape standard X-ray crystallography and NMR techniques. Integrating cryoEM data with existing biochemical data and high-resolution structures of individual components is invaluable in the generation of high-resolution models of the intact complexes.

For the sake of progress of science, and for the sake of being able to test the validity of published articles on cryoEM structures, we request that all authors of new manuscripts describing cryoEM particle reconstruction deposit their maps in the Electron Microscopy Data Bank (EMDB) and have these maps released without restriction upon the date of publication.

In addition, we also request:

1. That all journals considering manuscripts describing cryoEM structures adopt the strictly enforced policy of not publishing the manuscript prior to deposition AND guaranteed public release of the cryoEM maps on the date of publication.

2. That the EMDB streamlines this process with the journals and does not allow for loopholes that can keep maps on hold even after publication.

3. That the authors of previously published cryoEM structures, for which the corresponding maps are currently not available in any database, deposit their maps for immediate release in the EMDB.

4. That potential reviewers of a manuscript describing a cryoEM structure make a strong point to the editors that the manuscript will not be reviewed unless it can be guaranteed that the corresponding maps would be released in the case of positive reviews.

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