The Research Data Alliance (RDA) COVID-19 Working Group members bring 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. This extends to research software sharing, in recognition of the key role in 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 focus the conversations, and provide 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.
This work was executed in an intense period over just over 6 weeks, with five iterations, all of which were opened for public community comment.