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University researchers and patent infringements

Academic researchers have regularly ignored patents on key technologies as a strategy to maneuver around patent thickets and freedom-to-operate issues, but they may be more at risk than they realize, write Amy Yancey and C Neal Stewart, Jr of the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in the current issue of Nature Biotechnology (25, 1225-1228; 2007). From their article:  … Read more

Author contributions audit

As part of our ongoing discussion about the accountability of authors and co-authors (comments are still very welcome), I decided to take a snapshot look at the popularity of Author Contributions statements in Nature. We strongly encourage authors to make these statments, specifying the ways in which the authors contributed to the paper, but we do not make it mandatory. Should that change? Part of the answer to that question lies in how useful authors find the idea. So it is of interest to note that in the past three or four issues of Nature, about half of the Articles and Letters (primary research) carried contributions statements. Here are some examples, all from the same issue of Nature (1 November 2007):  … Read more