Investigators have both a scientific and an ethical obligation to make available to others biological materials on which the investigator has published, at least so the original observations may be independently verified.

Nevertheless, competitive pressures have sometimes led investigators to restrict distribution of new materials to those persons with whom they can reach understandings about future research.

Restricted distribution, however, ultimately retards progress in research, and up to now, all stocks at the FGSC have been freely available.

While the FGSC seeks to maintain a collection of fungal stocks that represents the published work in the field, the FGSC often obtains stocks years after they originate, or only with great difficulty, because the originator does not want them generally distributed. In some cases, significant stocks have been lost through neglect by the original investigator.

Because one of the aims of the FGSC is to assure the preservation (and ultimate availability) of key stocks, it wishes to encourage stock deposits from investigators, even if distribution is occasionally restricted for a time. As a publicly funded entity, the FGSC cannot endorse the principle of restriction, except in cases where it encourages deposit of key stocks. In such cases, the FGSC will serve as a safe deposit and will negotiate an interval with investigators in which stocks will not be released.
The interval will not exceed one year after publication of results on the stocks. During this interval, the stocks will not be listed in the catalogue and any request for the stocks will be referred to their originator. At the end of the interval, the stocks will be listed and will be available to all.
This policy may actually hasten the process by which stocks become generally available after publication. The FGSC will make every effort to dissuade depositors from restricting distribution and it is hoped that the requests to do so will be few. We hope this policy will help the Stock Center to achieve the goal of obtaining important stocks soon after publication and before being lost.

The practice of regular stock deposition, together with respect for the scientific interests of investigators who originate or who need unique biological material, will benefit research efforts of the fungal genetics community.

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