Statement on data sharing in public health emergencies
We've joined other 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.
The arguments for sharing data, and the consequences of not doing so, have been thrown into stark relief by the Ebola and Zika outbreaks.
In the context of a public health emergency of international concern, there is an imperative on all parties to make any information available that might have value in combatting the crisis.
We are committed to working in partnership to ensure that the global response to public health emergencies is informed by the best available research evidence and data, as such:
- Journal signatories will make all content concerning the Zika virus free to access. Any data or preprint deposited for unrestricted dissemination ahead of submission of any paper will not pre-empt its publication in these journals.
- Funder signatories will require researchers undertaking work relevant to public health emergencies to set in place mechanisms to share quality-assured interim and final data as rapidly and widely as possible, including with public health and research communities and the World Health Organization.
We urge other organisations to make the same commitments.
This commitment is in line with the consensus statement agreed at a WHO expert consultation on data sharing last year whereby researchers are expected to share data at the earliest opportunity, once they are adequately controlled for release and subject to any safeguards required to protect research participants and patients.
Signatories to the statement
- Academy of Finland
- Academy of Medical Sciences, UK
- Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
- Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
- The British Medical Journal (BMJ)
- Bulletin of the World Health Organization
- Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation – Gulbenkian Science Institute
- Canadian Institutes of Health Research
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (to include Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report [MMWR])
- Chinese Academy of Sciences
- Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention
- The Department of Biotechnology, Government of India
- The Department for International Development (DFID)
- Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
- EcoHealth Alliance
- The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
- EMBO Press
- Fondation Mérieux
- Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz)
- The Global Health Network
- Global Virus Network
- GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
- The Institut Pasteur
- Instituto Butantan, Brazil
- Instituto Nacional de Salud, Peru
- International Severe Respiratory and emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC)
- International Society for Infectious Diseases
- Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED)
- The JAMA Network
- The Lancet
- Médecins du Monde/Doctors of the World (MdM/DoW)
- Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF)
- Microbide Limited
- National Academy of Medicine
- National Institutes of Health, USA
- National Institute for Infectious Diseases Lazzaro Spallanzani (INMI), Italy
- National Science Foundation, USA
- The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM)
- Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO) Journal
- The Rockefeller University Press
- The Royal Society
- SAB Biotherapeutics
- Science Journals
- South African Medical Research Council
- Springer Nature
- Thieme Publishers
- UK Medical Research Council
- Universidade Jean Piaget de Capo Verde
- Wellcome Trust
- ZonMw – The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development
Sharing data helps researchers to access and build on new information and knowledge.
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.