There are multiple shortcomings and "fragmented" regulations surrounding DURC.
Restrictions on DURC in the life sciences are only enforced on institutions that are conducting research with federal funding, so any studies being done by private companies or "do-it-yourself" communities do not have to abide by the restrictions, even if their research meets the definition of DURC.
Another primary concern among the committee is the apparent lack of awareness about DURC issues among life scientists.
An overlooked goal of the DURC policies is raising security awareness.
DURC policies are incomplete--but recognizing that this is by design can create productive paths forward.
There was consensus that DURC is indeed a serious and complex issue and the risk of open publication helping malevolent people real that needs to be addressed.
Scientists and editors should put in place appropriate levels of peer evaluation and design processes to accomplish effective review of systems of manuscripts with DURC and ensure timely implementation of such processes.
Meanwhile, the absence of national or international review or oversight bodies with self-governance responsibility much less legal authority to evaluate proposed research of DURC in terms of risks associated or the anticipated benefits was recognized.
The National Academies held several symposia, the NSABB produced a range of reports, and the government issued two policies on the oversight of DURC.
DURC oversight covers only US federally funded research-- neither philanthropic nor corporate research is covered--and only in relation to items on the Select Agents List, and even then only when one of seven types of experiments are conducted.
DURC oversight is also limited because most journals and universities lack appropriate staff with access to information about possible ways the knowledge might be misused, or with the training to conduct a risk assessment if they did have that knowledge, so DURC research is likely to go unrecognized, let alone adequately governed.
While a stringent DURC
plan is a step in the right direction, the U.