Fostering global data sharing: highlighting the recommendations of the Research Data Alliance COVID-19 working group

Claire C. Austin, Alexander Bernier, Louise Bezuidenhout, Juan Bicarregui, Timea Biro, Anne Cambon-Thomsen, Stephanie Russo Carroll, Zoe Cournia, Piotr Wojciech Dabrowski, Gayo Diallo, Thomas Duflot, Leyla Garcia, Sandra Gesing, Alejandra Gonzalez-Beltran, Anupama Gururaj, Natalie Harrower, Dawei Lin, Claudia Medeiros, Eva Méndez, Natalie MeyersDaniel Mietchen, Rajini Nagrani, Gustav Nilsonne, Simon Parker, Brian Pickering, Amy Pienta, Panayiota Polydoratou, Fotis Psomopoulos, Stephanie Rennes, Robyn Rowe, Susanna Assunta Sansone, Hugh Shanahan, Lina Sitz, Joanne Stocks, Marcos Roberto Tovani-Palone, Mary Uhlmansiek

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

Abstract

The systemic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic require crossdisciplinary collaboration in a global and timely fashion. Such collaboration needs open research practices and the sharing of research outputs, such as data and code, thereby facilitating research and research reproducibility and timely collaboration beyond borders. The Research Data Alliance COVID-19 Working Group recently published a set of recommendations and guidelines on data sharing and related best practices for COVID-19 research. These guidelines include recommendations for clinicians, researchers, policy- and decision-makers, funders, publishers, public health experts, disaster preparedness and response experts, infrastructure providers from the perspective of different domains (Clinical Medicine, Omics, Epidemiology, Social Sciences, Community Participation, Indigenous Peoples, Research Software, Legal and Ethical Considerations), and other potential users. These guidelines include recommendations for researchers, policymakers, funders, publishers and infrastructure providers from the perspective of different domains (Clinical Medicine, Omics, Epidemiology, Social Sciences, Community Participation, Indigenous Peoples, Research Software, Legal and Ethical Considerations). Several overarching themes have emerged from this document such as the need to balance the creation of data adherent to FAIR principles (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable), with the need for quick data release; the use of trustworthy research data repositories; the use of well-annotated data with meaningful metadata; and practices of documenting methods and software. The resulting document marks an unprecedented cross-disciplinary, crosssectoral, and cross-jurisdictional effort authored by over 160 experts from around the globe. This letter summarises key points of the Recommendations and Guidelines, highlights the relevant findings, shines a spotlight on the process, and suggests how these developments can be leveraged by the wider scientific community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalWellcome Open Research
Volume5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Clinical Research
  • Epidemiology
  • FAIR and CARE principles
  • Omics
  • Open science
  • Sharing research outputs in pandemics caused by infectious diseases
  • Social Science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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