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CGCI Publication Guidelines

The Cancer Genome Characterization Initiative (CGCI) is a community resource project. After validation, data generated by CGCI are rapidly made available for use by other researchers. CGCI requests that researchers carefully review the guidelines for using CGCI data in publications and presentations below.

General Data Usage Principles

To act in accord with the Fort Lauderdale principles and support the continued prompt public release of large-scale genomic data prior to publication, researchers preparing manuscripts that (1) contain descriptions of CGCI data and/or (2) are of comparable scope to an initial CGCI disease-specific comprehensive global analysis publication are required to coordinate their independent reports with CGCI's publication schedule.

Comparable scope is defined as global genome-wide analysis of CGCI disease-specific data or data across diseases from one or more platforms (for disease types that encompass CGCI subprojects, see table below). As described below, publications of comparable scope are restricted prior to the release of first disease-specific manuscript.

After the initial CGCI global analysis publication, there are no restrictions on the use of CGCI data in manuscripts if the data are used specifically within the data use limitations.

Journal editors who receive such manuscripts are strongly encouraged to contact the Center for Cancer Genomics to ensure that their publication timeline is in line with CGCI.

All use and publications based on CGCI data are required to follow the data use limitations outlined in the CGCI Data Use Certification at the database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP).

Use of Data Prior to Publication by CGCI

Similar to standard practices of other large-scale genomic projects, NCI does not consider the deposition of CGCI data into its own data portal or public databases as the equivalent of publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Therefore, although the data are available to the community, the data producers consider these data as unpublished and expect that the data will be used in accord with standard scientific etiquette and practices concerning unpublished data.

The first paper authored by each CGCI subproject team includes the data and analysis from a majority (~90%) of qualified CGCI cases. Specifically, these manuscripts report on the comprehensive, integrated analysis of multiple CGCI subproject datasets, including, but not limited to

  • copy number variation, gene and miRNA expression, structural variants and DNA sequence/mutation analysis or a combination thereof; or
  • an analysis of data from a single platform across more than one tumor type, where not all the subproject teams have published their first comprehensive analyses papers for the tumor types being analyzed

Investigators may only publish a manuscript before the CGCI subproject team has published the global analysis on the corresponding tumor type if the publication uses a very limited dataset (less than 5 genes). Investigators should submit their abstract and request to the Center for Cancer Genomics by emailing

Prior to the publication of comprehensive analysis on a specific tumor type, available datasets are subject to the same standard principles of scientific etiquette that apply to use of unpublished findings from other sources.

Please check the CGCI Data Types and Availability table for the current list of tumor datasets available for use. For questions, do not hesitate to contact

Other Uses of CGCI Data

If data are used within the data use limitations, there are no restrictions on the use of CGCI data for legitimate research purposes not involving publication or public presentation. For example, researchers may use CGCI data in research grant applications at any time with appropriate acknowledgement (see below), regardless of whether the initial CGCI disease-specific global analysis has been published.

Citing CGCI

The Center for Cancer Genomics requests that authors who use data from CGCI acknowledge the appropriate subproject team(s) in their work by referencing the CGCI dataset in accordance with the CGCI Data Use Certification at dbGaP. Inclusion of CGCI subproject team members as authors is not required.

If you would like to reproduce some or all of this content, see Reuse of NCI Information for guidance about copyright and permissions. In the case of permitted digital reproduction, please credit the National Cancer Institute as the source and link to the original NCI product using the original product's title; e.g., “CGCI Publication Guidelines was originally published by the National Cancer Institute.”