Data sharing in public health emergencies
Sharing data helps researchers to build on existing knowledge and make discoveries that can improve health. This includes the need to share data to anticipate and prepare for health emergencies, and to develop vaccines and experimental treatments.
Research is an essential part of being ready for and responding to public health emergencies. It’s critical that any new knowledge is shared in a timely manner in a way that’s equitable, ethical and transparent.
What we’re doing
Calling for change
Together with a range of partners, we’re calling on funding bodies, journals and research organisations to share research findings and data relevant to the COVID-19 outbreak. Read the joint statement.
This is an update to previous statements on the:
- Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (May 2018)
- Zika outbreak and future public health emergencies (February 2016).
We expect the principles set out in these statements to be applied to outbreaks in the future, where there is a global imperative to share research findings and data rapidly and widely.
Our article for the World Health Organization looks at the progress that’s been made since the 2016 statement, and at the key challenges posed by data sharing in public health emergencies.
Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GloPID-R) network
The working group has developed:
- principles for data sharing in public health emergencies, which provide a framework for timely data sharing during an outbreak
- a roadmap for data sharing in public health emergencies, which looks at how research funders can improve grantholders' data sharing and advocate for increased data sharing more widely.
Investigating the long-term impact of open sharing commitments
We’ve commissioned Research Consulting to conduct a study to investigate the impact of requirements for the rapid and open sharing of research findings and data in public health emergencies. You can find out more about the study on the Research Consulting website.
The evaluation report and underlying datasets will be published and made freely available in Spring 2022.