RDA COVID-19 Work Group Announces Third Release of Guidelines and Recommendations

The Research Data Alliance (RDA) COVID-19 group published the third release of the COVID-19 Data Sharing Recommendations and Guidelines, on 8 May 2020.

A global cohort of 450 data, social science. legal and ethical, and software experts together with professionals from the clinical, epidemiology and omics sectors are working in a fast track and rapid response to meeting the following objectives:

  1. to clearly define detailed guidelines on data sharing under the present COVID-19 circumstances to help stakeholders follow best practices to maximize the efficiency of their work, and to act as a blueprint for future emergencies;

  2. to develop guidelines for policymakers to maximise timely, quality data sharing and appropriate responses in such health emergencies;

  3. to address the interests of researchers, policymakers, funders, publishers, and providers of data sharing infrastructures

The various sub-group drafts reflect different approaches and initial work efforts: future drafts (4th and 5th releases) will synchronize these efforts into an integrated series of guidelines. Updates to the previous two releases are:

  • Section 3 - Foundational Principles/Recommendations - updates and additional content

  • Section 4 - Clinical - Revisions to sections 4.2.3, 4.2.4, and 4.3. Newly added 

  • section 4.2.5

  • Section 5 - Community Participation: Use case - Mobile App Development for Community-generated Data

  • Section 6 - Epidemiology - major revisions/additional content

  • Section 7 - Omics - updated

  • Section 8 - Social Sciences - revised

  • Section 9 - Software - updated and sections added/reorganized (9.4, 9.5)

  • Section 10 - Legal/Ethical - major revisions

  • Incorporation of feedback received via Requests for Comments (RfC) process and directly to Co-chairs, moderators and editorial team

There will be a further release on Friday May 15, with the subsequent release anticipated for May 28, followed by a round of community feedback, and a final endorsed release of Version 1 of the Guidelines for June 30. 

The thematic guidelines on Clinical data, Epidemiological data, Omics, Community Participation and Social Sciences are enhanced with guidelines on Research Software and Legal and Ethical aspects that articulate principles and recommendations common across all areas.

This effort also reflects the work of a host of other RDA Working Groups, as well as external stakeholder organizations, that has developed over a number of years - we want to recognize and highlight those efforts. 

In the spirit of the RDA community and its open process, we are seeking feedback from stakeholders. This feedback will be incorporated into the future releases.

This Working Group and the subgroups operate according to the RDA guiding principles of Openness, Consensus, Balance, Harmonization, Community-driven, Non-profit and technology-neutral and are OPEN TO ALL.

The RDA COVID-19; recommendations and guidelines, 3rd release 8 May 2020 is available at https://doi.org/10.15497/rda00046