“Although it has not yet been designated a public health emergency of international concern, the current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo represents a serious and rapidly developing threat to public health.
As such, Wellcome believes that it is imperative that research findings and data relevant to the current outbreak are shared rapidly and openly – in line with the 2016 joint statement relating to the sharing of data on Zika and future public health emergencies.
We expect the principles of this statement to apply to similar outbreaks in the future where there is a significant public health benefit to ensuring data is shared widely and rapidly.
We therefore call on the signatories of that statement, and on other funding bodies, journals and research organisations, to adopt the approach set out in this statement, namely that:
• journals make all content relevant to the outbreak free to access, and ensure any data or pre-print shared ahead of submission of a research article will not pre-empt its publication in these journals
• funders require researchers undertaking work relevant to the outbreak to set in place mechanisms to share quality-assured interim and final data as rapidly and widely as possible, including with public health and research communities, and the World Health Organization.
We strongly encourage our funded researchers to use Wellcome Open Research or other open research publishing platforms as a mechanism to rapidly and openly publish research findings, protocols and other outputs, or to use pre-prints to share research findings ahead of journal submission.
We will continue to work through the Glopid-R Data Sharing Working Group to understand and implement best policies and practice around data sharing in public health emergencies.”
Signatories to the statement
• Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
• EcoHealth Alliance
• Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz)
• The Global Health Network
• International Journal of Infectious Disease
• International Society for Infectious Diseases
• The Lancet Group
• Microbide Limited
• National Academy of Medicine
• South African Medical Research Council
ISID Endorses Wellcome Trust Statement on Data Sharing During the DRC Ebola Outbreak