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. 

Our position

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

Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GloPID-R) network

We’re a member of the GloPID-R network and lead its data sharing working group.

The working group is developing a strategy for data and knowledge sharing in public health emergencies. It will identify: 

Calling for change

We’re calling on funding bodies, journals and research organisations to share research findings and data relevant to the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Read the statement.

In February 2016, we joined a growing list of global health bodies to call for all research data gathered during the Zika virus outbreak, and future public health emergencies, to be made available as rapidly and openly as possible. Read the statement.

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. 

More information

Contact us

If you have any questions, contact Alice Jamieson


Data sharing

Sharing data helps researchers to access and build on new information and knowledge.

Influencing policy

Science policy affects a broad range of issues, ranging from data sharing and gene editing, to intellectual property and regulation.


Zika is a mosquito-borne virus which has been linked with severe birth defects in babies.

Reports and consultations