Published:

HRB commits to data sharing in public health emergencies

'The HRB has become an official signatory to the Wellcome's Statement on data sharing in public health emergencies' says Dr Darrin Morrissey, Chief Executive, HRB.

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'The HRB supports transparency, integrity and openness in research practices, and these principles are essential in light of the current spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The HRB will play its part to ensure that important information is shared at the earliest point possible'.

'Recent changes to HRB policy on management and sharing of research data along with the availability of the HRB Open Research publishing platform dovetail very neatly with the aims and objectives of the Wellcome's ‘Statement on data sharing in public health emergencies’, he says.

The Statement is available from the Wellcome's website and it asks research funders to commit to:

‘requiring 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.'

The Statement also requires that we work collaboratively to ensure that:

  • all peer-reviewed research publications relevant to the outbreak are made immediately open access, or freely available at least for the duration of the outbreak;
  • research findings relevant to the outbreak are shared immediately with the WHO upon journal submission, by the journal and with author knowledge;
  • research findings are made available via preprint servers before journal publication, or via platforms that make papers openly accessible before peer review, with clear statements regarding the availability of underlying data;
  • researchers share interim and final research data relating to the outbreak, together with protocols and standards used to collect the data, as rapidly and widely as possible - including with public health and research communities and the WHO;
  • authors are clear that data or preprints shared ahead of submission will not pre-empt its publication in these journals.