RDA COVID-19; Recommendations and guidelines 1st release - open for comments

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RDA COVID-19; Recommendations and guidelines 1st release - open for comments
24 Apr 2020

RDA COVID-19; Recommendations and guidelines 1st release - open for comments

Final Report Published 30 June 2020


The first release of the RDA COVID-19 recommendations and guidelines have been published today, 24 April 2020, and are open for your feedback and comments.

In response to a direct request from the European Commission, one of the RDA funding agencies, the RDA community answered a call to action at the end of March 2020 and set up an RDA Working group, with 5 sub-groups focusing on essential thematic areas: Clinical, Community Participation, Epidemiology, Omics, and Social Sciences. The initial work was divided into these 5 areas as a way to both focus the conversations and provide an initial set of guidelines within a tight timeframe. Additional themes and details will be added over time in iterative releases of this document.

The overarching objectives of the RDA COVID-19 Working Group (CWG) are:

  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 data sharing and appropriate responses in such health emergencies;
  3. to address the interests of researchers, policy makers, funders, publishers, and providers of data sharing infrastructures.

As of mid-April, there were well over 400 members of the CWG, relatively evenly spread across the 5 groups. This preliminary April 24th draft represents the earliest set of draft outputs from the first set of writing sprints, and should be understood as a very early indication of progress in the space of 3 weeks, with more details and final outputs to follow. The various sub-group drafts collected here reflect different approaches and initial work efforts: subsequent drafts will synchronize these efforts into a more integrated series of guidelines. These 5 thematic guidelines will be enhanced with a series of “cross-cutting” guidelines articulating principles and recommendations common across all thematic areas. One initial cross-cutting guideline is included here: research software.

In the spirit of the RDA community and its open process, we are seeking feedback from the COVID-19 WG members, as well as the whole community, early and often during this process. This feedback will inform the work and will be incorporated into the sub-group discussions, and the next set of writing sprints.

Recommendations: RDA COVID-19; recommendations and guidelines, 1st release 24 April 2020

Please remember to log into the RDA web platform and use the comment feature to leave your feedback, suggestions, and queries.

I am immensely grateful to the 6 co-chairs, 15 moderators, 9 editorial team members and the unbelievable  400+ cohort of global experts who all committed, within a very short period, to dedicate precious time and expertise to contribute to these guidelines, and who have worked overtime, giving early hours and late nights to support this important effort. This is the spirit of RDA and is an example of the power of the community.  It is virtual, global collaboration at its very best.

Hilary Hanahoe, RDA Secretary-General


This work was developed as part of the Research Data Alliance (RDA) ‘WG’ entitled ‘RDA-COVID19,’ ‘RDA-COVID19-Clinical,RDA-COVID19-Community-participation,' ‘RDA-COVID19-Epidemiology,’ ‘RDA-COVID19-Omics,’ ‘RDA-COVID19-Social-Sciences,’ and we acknowledge the support provided by the RDA community and structures and contributions by the Research Software Alliance <ReSA>. These Working Groups operate according to the RDA guiding principles of Openness, Consensus, Balance, Harmonization, Community-driven, Non-profit and technology-neutral and are OPEN TO ALL.