RDA COVID-19 WG Updates and Next Steps

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04 Aug 2020
Group(s) submitting the application: 
Meeting objectives: 

The RDA COVID-19 Working Group was set up in March 2020. Its members, over 600, brought forward 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. The focus on data sharing includes all relevant research outputs, including the key role of research 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.

The majority of the writing  was executed in an intense period of just over 6 weeks, with five iterations, all of which were opened for public community comment. The final release with additional supporting outputs and links to previous releases are available at DOI: https://doi.org/10.15497/rda00052

This meeting will allow WG members to receive and update in what has happened since the Guiidelines were published, including new navigation tools, article outputs, as well as a discussion of intersections with other RDA groups, and what conmes next for the COVID-19 WG.

Meeting agenda: 


Collaborative Notes Link:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1M3Y1db4ru3vyyTe5F8lf0hNLp8ZVoPnFU_eA...


  1. What we did and why, and what we achieved.
    1. How the group was set up, different areas of expertise, structuring the output, how the writing sprints, webinars, sub groups and coordination group worked, how the final groups & document were organised and audiences clarified.(Short presentation by one individual)
    2. Additional outputs such as the Zotero library, infographic, knowledge/navigation tools, journal papers.
    3. Community participation paper and survey - details on overall approach and initial findings (Louise Bezuidenhout/Timea Biro)
  2. Reflection on the strengths and weaknesses of the report. What is good about the report, what could be better?
    1. Interactive session structured by some questions prepared by a few individuals.
    2. As community participation was a cross-cutting theme, a strength of the report is that not only RDA members had the opportunity to comment and give feedback but also members of the public could respond and contribute to the guidelines and recommendations.
  3. What could/should we do next?
    1. Relatively unstructured brainstorming session, maybe including voting towards the end to prioritise ideas.
    2. Discussion around how such a document or group could be updated/continued over time.
    3. How do we better identify adopters of the guidelines? Can we recruit adopters into the group to refine the recs and guidelines.
    4. Can we collect and create case studies? Uses of the Recommendations & Guidelines  - provide examples and collect case.
  4. How should we organise to do that?
    1. Interactive session led by a few people to solidify the plans and identify volunteers to lead different parts of the work.
    2. Is our commitment to updating this particular document or to facilitating larger discussions/dissemination of the outputs? Where do we focus our energies?
  5. Scheduling future calls.
  6. AOB

At this stage we are assuming there will be a series of pre-recorded presentations of 5 minutes for each research area/cross-cutting theme which summarises the need for that area, stakeholders aimed at, and key guidelines or recommendations. Each presentation can be viewed independently dependent on viewers interest and at a time suitable to their time zone.

The scheduled session will allow for a small numner of live presentations on what we did, with online Q&A. The Wg will make use of applications such as Padlet or Kahoot to engage with the audience and get real time feedback on what to do next.


Target Audience: 

Members of the COVID-19 WG and others who may wish to join for the next stage.

Group chair serving as contact person: 
Brief introduction describing the activities and scope of the group: 

The group was created in rapid response to the pandemic at the request of the European Commission. The purpose as outlined at the beginning, to publish recommendations and guidelines on data sharing for COVID-19 research and clinical guidelines has been achieved, but the pandemic and requirements for Open Science practices are still growing.

Short Group Status: 

After 5 drafts open to public consultation and one draft opened to RDA governance structures for feedback and endorsement, the final version of the Recommendations and Guidelines on Data Sharing were published 30th June 2020. Since then a number of additional outputs and activities have taken place, including: the Zotero library and an infographic has been published; GIDA has copublished the Indigenous Data Guidelines; STM has cobranded a publication; a decision tree/sophisticated search tool is being created, and several journal papers are underway. The group is now looking to determine its future shape and programme of work.

Type of Meeting: 
Working meeting
Avoid conflict with the following group (2): 
Meeting presenters: 
Nathalie Harrower, Mark Leggott