Copyright probably isn’t the first branch of intellectual property that comes to mind when thinking about malaria prevention. The medication itself is covered by patents, the brand name by trademark. But what many of us might not realize is that the information discovered during research, the data sets, diagrams and descriptions of findings, are often covered by copyright.
In a move to help facilitate anti-malarial research, GlaxoSmithKline has released its chemical structure and data findings under CC0 (Creative Commons Zero), a waiver that effectively places this information in the public domain.
The dataset contains the structures and screening data for over 13,500 compounds confirmed to inhibit parasite growth by more than 80% at 2 uM concentration.
Novartis-GNF and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have also released antimalarial research data sets under other open access licenses. Releasing the datasets under open licenses or into the public domain (in GSK’s case) should enable others to conduct research that builds off the work already done without having to redo what GSK, GNF and St. Jude already did.
More information on the released data here.