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