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Global Council Aims to Coordinate Science

from Nature News

International research collaborations are multiplying fast, with one-quarter of the world's science and engineering publications now featuring authors from more than one country. But not all national funding agencies manage their science in the same way--researchers in China win grant funding through very different processes from their European peers, for example--which can hamper projects that span borders.

To tackle the problem, a voluntary forum, the Global Research Council (GRC), has been formed to share best practice and encourage common principles.

Last week, the leaders of about 50 national research-funding agencies met at the headquarters of the US National Science Foundation (NSF) in Arlington, Virginia, to discuss the GRC's agenda: issues such as peer review, data sharing, research integrity, open access, career development and ethical conduct in research on humans. As the largest-ever gathering of research agencies, it was a "historic moment", says Suzanne Fortier, president of Canada's Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council.

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