ISCB Supports National Institutes of Health Interim Research Products Policy Change

Open access to data, software and publications enables scientific progress and is a core and foundational principle of the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB). ISCB was delighted to learn of and fully supports The National Institution of Health’s policy, which allows investigators to cite their interim research products, such as preprints, and claim them as products of NIH funding.
Pre-print servers have emerged as a rapid and important means for molecular and computational biologists to make their data and discoveries widely available prior to publication in peer-reviewed journals. ISCB’s two affiliated journals, Bioinformatics and PLOS Computational Biology, have for years encouraged the submission of papers previously deposited in pre-print servers.
The availability of these data forms are the basis of our ability as computational biologists to mine and integrate data from several sources in order to make new discoveries. This principle forms the basis of our professional activity as Bioinformatians and Computational Biologists and underlies our Society’s mission to advance understanding of living systems through computation and to communicate scientific advances worldwide.
ISCB is pleased to learn that the National Institutes of Health also sees the great value of interim research products and therefore strongly supports the recent policy change.  ISCB will continue to encourage the deposition of papers in pre-print servers, in the same way that we support the deposition of software and data in the appropriate repositories prior to publication in peer-reviewed journals.
It is, however, still largely misunderstood how important this data is and ISCB will continue to work towards educating other funding agencies on this matter.