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The Responsible Use and Publication of HapMap Data
The primary purpose of the International HapMap Project, as described on the Project's web site(www.hapmap.org) and in the recent paper on the Project (Nature 426:789-796, Dec. 18, 2003), is to develop and publish a global analysis of patterns of polymorphism and of linkage disequilibrium and use this information to guide selection of tag SNPs across the entire human genome. As is now standard practice in large-scale genomic research projects, the International HapMap Consortium follows a policy of releasing data as quickly as possible, anticipating that they will be useful for many investigators. The Consortium anticipates that the Project's data will be used in many ways, such as for developing new analytical methods, in understanding patterns of polymorphism, linkage disequilibrium, and haplotype associations, and in guiding selection of markers to map genes affecting specific diseases. Thus, the Consortium recognizes that the data are available to all users for any purpose.
The Consortium currently is preparing or plans to prepare several manuscripts based on HapMap data:
A number of analyses intended to understand the genome-wide patterns of polymorphism and linkage disequilibrium are being planned for inclusion in those papers. Specifically, these include: basic descriptions of the data; quantitation of polymorphism and linkage disequilibrium (LD); correlation of LD with patterns of recombination in the human genome; correlation of LD with genome sequence elements; features of natural selection and how they affect LD patterns; selection of tag SNPs using a variety of methods and the assessment of their power in relation to more complete data (ENCODE) and with regard to association studies under a variety of disease models. To continue to support the prompt public release of genomic data prior to publication, researchers and journal editors are encouraged to coordinate independent global analyses of patterns of polymorphisms, LD, and haplotypes using HapMap data with the Consortium's publication schedule described above. This may be done by contacting the co-chairs of the Consortium's Communications Group, David Bentley or Morris Foster.
Researchers are encouraged to publish results based on combining HapMap data with data from other projects, particularly in efforts to find genes affecting a disease or a drug response. Researchers also are encouraged to use HapMap data to publish on the development of novel methods to analyze polymorphism, linkage disequilibrium, and association data. This may include the application of these methods to portions of the data, such as a few ENCODE regions or a few chromosomes.
The release of pre-publication data from large resource-generating scientific projects was the subject of a meeting held in January 2003, the "Fort Lauderdale meeting," sponsored by the Wellcome Trust, one of the Project funders. The report from that meeting is at http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/assets/wtd003207.pdf. The HapMap Consortium members have agreed to follow these data-release principles. An NHGRI policy statement based on the outcome of the meeting is on the NHGRI web site (http://www.genome.gov/10506537).
The recommendations of the Fort Lauderdale meeting address the roles and responsibilities of data producers, data users, and funders of "community resource projects," with the aim of establishing and maintaining an appropriate balance between the interests of data users in rapid access to data and the needs of data producers to receive recognition for their work. The conclusion of the attendees at the meeting was that responsible use of the data is necessary to ensure that first-rate data producers will continue to participate in such projects and produce and quickly release valuable large-scale data sets. "Responsible use" was defined as allowing the data producers to have the opportunity to publish the initial global analyses of the data, as articulated at the outset of the project. Doing so also will ensure that the data generated are fully described.
The International HapMap Consortium, like other large-scale genomic projects, does not consider the deposition of its data into its own or public databases to be the equivalent of publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Therefore, although the data are available to others, the producers still consider them to be formally unpublished.
Prior to the publication of the 5 kb map paper, the International HapMap Consortium requests that authors who use data from the Project acknowledge the Consortium and reference the Nature paper (which has the Consortium as the author):
Authors are also encouraged to acknowledge the appropriate donor communities and research groups, which can be found in the Nature paper. Similarly, the Consortium requests that Journal editors and reviewers attempt to ensure that the Nature paper is cited and that appropriate acknowledgements are made.
The populations from whom the current HapMap data are derived should be referred to as follows in all papers that describe the Project or that use Project data: Yoruba in Ibadan, Nigeria; Japanese in Tokyo; Han Chinese in Beijing; and CEPH (Utah residents with ancestry from northern and western Europe). (See the Guidelines for Referring to the HapMap Populations in Publications and Presentations for additional information.) Any papers published based on data from just one population should include a caveat about the generalizability of the conclusions to other populations.
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