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Final Version of the RDA COVID-19 Recommendations and Guidelines on Data Sharing Published

Final Version of the RDA COVID-19 Recommendations and Guidelines on Data Sharing Published

In late March, as part of the Data Together COVID-19 Appeal and Actions, the Research Data Alliance (RDA; WDS Associate Member) was requested to create global guidelines and recommendations for data sharing under COVID-19 circumstances. Over 600 data professionals and domain experts signed up and began work in early April 2020. On 30 June 2020, RDA published the final version of the RDA COVID-19 Recommendations and Guidelines on data sharing covering four research areas—clinical data, omics practices, epidemiology, and social sciences—complimented by overarching areas focussing on legal and ethical considerations, research software, community participation, and indigenous data. 

RDA COVID-19 Recommendations and Guidelines

The report specifically emphasizes the importance of the following during the COVID-19 emergency response:

  • Sharing clinical data in a timely and trustworthy manner to maximize the impact of healthcare measures and clinical research.
  • Encouraging people to publish their data alongside a paper (particularly important in reference to omics data).
  • Underlining that epidemiology data underpin early response strategies and public health measures.
  • Providing general guidelines to collect or link important social and behavioral data in all pandemic studies.
  • Evidencing the importance of sharing research software alongside the research data it analyzes, and providing guidelines and best practices for enabling this.
  • Offering general guidance to navigate the applicable rule of law and exploit relevant ethical frameworks relating to the collection, analysis, and sharing of data in similar emergency situations.
  • Looking at data management and sharing issues related to the technical, social, legal, and ethical considerations from the community participation perspective.

The RDA COVID-19 activities were conducted under the RDA guiding principles; the results and outputs are open to all.

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