When should a scientist’s data be liberated for all to see?

Observations: When should a scientist’s data be liberated for all to see?.

Professional scientists, whether in industry or academia, make their living on their ideas and their research.  Just as a novelist makes a living on their published works (which can take years to complete), scientists depend on being able to “sell” their ideas and research abilities.  I don’t think anyone could successfully argue that a writer should be obligated to release, gratis, every word they write the instant that they write it.  Neither should a scientist be obligated to make public every idea and shred of data as soon as it is generated.  While free sharing of information would undoubtedly increase scientific advancement, that advancement would be hampered by the decreased ability of individual scientists to advance their careers and be gainfully employed on the basis of their own abilities.

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