The explosion of the field of molecular biology is paralleled by the growth in usage and acceptance of Web-based genomic and proteomic databases (GPD) such as GenBank and Protein Data Bank in the scholarly communication of scientists. Surveys, case studies, analysis of bibliographic records from Medline and CAPlus, and examination of “Instructions to Authors” sections of molecular biology journals all confirm the integral role of GPD in the scientific literature cycle. Over the past 20 years the place of GPD in the culture of molecular biologists was observed to move from tacit implication to explicit knowledge. Originally journals suggested deposition of data in GDP but by the late1980s, the majority of journals mandated deposition of data for a manuscript to be accepted for publication. A surge subsequently occurred in the number of articles retrievable from Medline and CAPlus using the keyword “GenBank”. GPD were not found to a new form of publication, but rather a fundamental storage and retrieval mechanism for vast amounts of molecular biology information that support the creation of scientific intellectual property. For science to continue to advance, scientists unequivocally agreed that GDP must remain free of peer-review and available at no charge to the public. The results suggest that the existing models of scientific communication should be updated to incorporate GDP data deposition into the current continuum of scientific communication.