Update on the RDA COVID-19 Working Group preparations

25 Mar 2020
Groups audience: 

Dear Working Group Members,


Many of us are working in very different circumstances than just a few weeks ago, so we would first like to extend our thanks to each of you for stepping forward to engage in the RDA COVID-19 Working Group (WG). We look forward to working with you on outputs that will contribute to the rapidly evolving global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


While it is early days yet for the WG, we did want to send a message to give you a sense of the effort before us, as well as process and timelines. The focus of the WG was outlined in an earlier message from Hilary Hanahoe, RDA Secretary General.


The objective of this Working Group is to clearly define detailed guidelines on data sharing and re-use under the present COVID-19 circumstances to help researchers follow best practices to maximize the efficiency of their work. The guidelines will focus on the management of data originating from different data sources and the development of a system for data sharing in public health emergencies that supports scientific research. This group will provide recommendations on the creation of a common framework and the tools and processes which should be embedded in research practice. Guidelines will adhere to FAIR and other principles and specificities related to omics data, clinical research data and epidemiological data.


We are working behind the scenes to set up the scaffolding that will allow the WG to carry out its conversations on a much quicker timeline than normal for an RDA WG, so please bear with us.


The WG Co-Chairs met today, and outlined the outputs that will be created in the first work package. The Outputs:


An overarching Data Sharing Guideline, that will provide the general context and background, as well as the framing for additional details. Category-specific Guidelines and Resources, which will summarize and link to best practices for data sharing in 5 areas: Epidemiological; Omics; Clinical; Community Participation, Sociological. A description of each of these will be provided shortly with the WG Case Statement. A Decision Tree, which will allow individuals in various stakeholder communities to determine where to go for best practice data sharing resources that intersect with their focus.


Our aim is to have these 3 outputs ready in 4 weeks. To meet this timeframe, we will need to have the working teams underway in 1 week, and the Category specific guidelines and resources ready in 2 weeks.


We are especially sensitive to leveraging the strengths of the RDA platform and community-based approach, so are also working on the details of how best to engage all of you in the coming weeks and beyond. The Teams and Process:


  • Co-Chairs will facilitate the efforts of the WG, including liaising with Experts and participating Members.
  • Moderators will take a lead role for each of the 5 categories, facilitating calls and the work of each content-focused group.
  • An Editorial Team will work to stream the discussions and outputs of the various sub-groups into the final outputs.
  • WG Members will provide input into the discussions, including via conference calls, the WG website, the WG mailing list, and additional feedback tools.
  • The RDA Secretariat and additional RDA colleagues will support and facilitate the WG efforts.
  • ACTION for YOU: Please indicate (in the Google Spreadsheet) your contact information, area of Expertise (Domain Knowledge, Data Sharing, Ethics, Legal, Technology, Policy) in the context of one of the 5 categories above, and the Role you can best play (e.g. Writing/Editing, Commenting/Review, Dissemination, Observer) to ensure we are able to deliver.

We will also do our best to align this effort with others also underway, making sure to leverage these efforts, avoid duplication, and generate maximal impact.


Many thanks again for your participation: we look forward to engaging with you to provide an RDA community contribution to our global community of stakeholders and citizens.


RDA COVID-19 WG Co-Chairs

Juan Bicarregui, Anne Cambon-Thomsen, Ingrid Dillo, Sarah Jones, Mark Leggott, Priyanka Pillai

  • Jose Carlos Urra Llanusa's picture

    Author: Jose Carlos Urr...

    Date: 26 Mar, 2020

    Hi Everyone,
    My name is Jose Carlos Urra, based on TU Delft. I am glad to be part of
    this working group and would briefly like to introduce the topic I am
    working on:
    Easy to find hardware designs to replicate and combat covid19 around the
    Around the world many initiatives are poping up to mitigate the shortage of
    equipment and accesories to treat covid19. Many designs and groups working
    on them have been released in various ways and formats. This has been
    happening through different channels, websites. Here is a list of
    The problem we are trying to solve: The designs(data) being generated is
    not easy to find, is in different languages, and when it scales to many
    people participating it becomes a maze of content. Currently the formats,
    channels and threads are difficult to follow and understand due to the
    urgency of the moment. We would like to help to improve the process of
    finding, deciding, replicating and deploying these equipments.
    This may include general technical documentation, specifications of models
    and components. and peer reviewing.
    Here is the link to the main project repository for more details:


    On Thu, Mar 26, 2020 at 12:21 AM mleggott via RDA-COVID19 <
    ***@***.***-groups.org> wrote:

  • Jose Carlos Urra Llanusa's picture

    Author: Jose Carlos Urr...

    Date: 01 Apr, 2020

    Hi Everyone,
    Katie I added your suggestions to the link, thanks for sharing it :)
    This is a quick update on my progress with regard to the project of
    compiling and documenting covid19 hardware solutions using github APIs.
    Ir is a prototype but is working already quite nice:
    [image: loadingImages.gif]

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