Open science in time of pandemics: the experience of the Research Data alliance working group on COVID-19 in the international landscape

September 4, 2020 8:30 - 10:00

Location: Euroscience Virtual Room


The Research Data Alliance (RDA), an international organisation set up in 2013 and aiming at building the social and technical bridges that enable open sharing of data, is operating through a variety of international active groups in all siences. 
The RDA COVID-19 Working Group was set up in March 2020. Its members, over 600, brought forward various global expertise to develop a body of work that comprises how data from multiple disciplines inform response to a pandemic, combined with guidelines and recommendations on data sharing under the present COVID-19 circumstances. The focus on data sharing includes all relevant research outputs, including the key role of research software in analysing data.

The work has been divided into four research areas (namely: Clinical, Omics, Epidemiology, Social Sciences) with four cross cutting themes (namely, Community Participation, Indigenous Data, Legal and Ethical Considerations, Research Software), as a way to structure the production of an initial set of guidelines in a tight timeframe. The detailed guidelines are aimed to help stakeholders follow best practices to maximise the efficiency of their work, and to act as a blueprint for future emergencies. The recommendations in the document are aimed at helping policymakers and funders to maximise timely, quality data sharing and appropriate responses in such health emergencies.

The majority of the writing was executed in an intense period of just over 6 weeks, with five iterations, all of which were opened for public community comment. The final release with additional supporting outputs and links to previous releases are available here. 
This session will allow to summarise this exceptional experience, to put it in perspective as regards European and global open science initiatives with the specificity of a pandemic. A critical reflection on the outputs as well as their possible uses and implementation by various stakeholders will be discussed and comments from other orgnisations both European and worldwide are welcome, especially from OECD and from EOSC (European Commission, European Open Science Cloud) who faced the necessity of guidelines regarding open data in the time of COVID-19. Views of EuroScience and EuroScience Open Forum attendees are expected to fuel the discussion on challenges and possible collaborations regarding Open science in the context of a pandemic.

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