RDA COVID-19 Recommendations and Guidelines for Data Sharing: How STM Publishers can Contribute

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07 Jul 2020

RDA COVID-19 Recommendations and Guidelines for Data Sharing: How STM Publishers can Contribute

STM Publishers are important stakeholders in the endeavours of the RDA. STM, the International Association of STM Publishers, as one of RDA’s organisational members, wishes to support the wider adoption and implementation of the RDA COVID-19 recommendations and guidelines for FAIR data sharing. The published guidelines and recommendations will be made part of the STM 2020 Research Data Year.

The STM Research Data Year (RDY) is a program aimed at increasing the update of sharing, linking and citing research data alongside publications. Currently more than 15 publishers participate in this program representing over 50% of published articles.

As part of this program, STM will engage in outreach and promotion of the RDA COVID-19 Recommendations and Guidelines, to support the participants in the RDY program in the further adoption. Information from the guidelines and recommendations of relevance to publishers will be disseminated via the workshops, seminars and website toolkits of the RDY.

This webpage is part of this. To provide an easy overview to publishers how to support the RDA Covid-19 guidelines, the program of the STM Research Data Year will:

  1. Promote FAIR sharing of Covid-19 related Data, in a good balance of being timely and achieving perfectly FAIR Data. This includes the publication of software in recommended repositories. Rapid dissemination of data is possible via pre-print repositories or before peer review.
  2. Encourage expedited review processes for pandemic related research, respecting the need to balance the rapid dissemination of findings with the dissemination of reliable findings
  3. Encourage researchers to apply generic metadata for Covid-19 related data, as much as possible, such as for example any of the four generic and well-established metadata standards that are used widely, Dublin Core (DC), DCAT, DataCite and Schema.org.
  4. Request authors to add available contextual documentation, when sharing their research outputs, including documentation on software, documentation of methodologies used to define and construct data, data cleaning, data imputation, data provenance and so on.
  5. Promote the use of trustworthy repositories, so that whenever possible, trustworthy data repositories (TDRs) are used that have been certified, subject to rigorous governance, and committed to longer-term preservation of their data holdings. As the first choice, widely used disciplinary repositories are recommended for maximum accessibility and assessability of the data, followed by general or institutional repositories.
  6. Respect the ground rules for Ethics, Privacy and sound Legal Frameworks in Covid-19 data sharing, so that access to individual participant data and trial documents can be as open as possible and as closed as necessary, to protect participant privacy and reduce the risk of data misuse. Emergency data legislation activated during a pandemic needs to clearly outline data custodianship/ownership, publication rights and arrangements, consent models, and permissions around sharing data and exemptions.

Important links to more detailed information in the RDA Covid-19 recommendations, relevant for publishers, can be found here. The participants in the STM Research Data Year are: