The second and seventh USGCRP policy statements address the need for exchange of data between researchers. A period of exclusive use is permitted, though the data should be made available when they become widely useful. The annex of the USGCRP expands upon this policy with the statement
"In the past, some Principal Investigators have retained data for indefinite periods, and this has inhibited their widespread use. This practice should be eliminated through active consideration of the tradeoffs between widespread distribution of data sets and the need to assure data quality and validity. The guiding principle is that as soon as data might be useful to other researchers the data should be released, along with documentation which can be used by the other researchers to judge data quality and potential usefulness."This clearly limits periods of restricted access to the time during which data is not generally useful. There is no provision for granting a period of exclusive use to provide the Principal Investigator with an opportunity to delay exchange until papers describing the data have been published.
Statements 4, 5, and 6 address the need to provide easy access. Statement 3 identifies the need to designate an archive for all relevant data. The policy must prevent the loss of important data sets. The annex notes that many data sets, especially biological, have no archive.