During the COVID-19 pandemic researchers are working around the clock to make vaccines, advance medical treatment and protocols for the sick. We are in an unprecedented situation where the whole world has to deal with this pandemic.
In previous weeks we have seen the real strength of data sharing. However, there are still lots of hurdles when it comes to successful sharing and understanding of the data which is continuously being generated.
Therefore members of our network and others are now focusing on the most urgent problems of data handling during this crisis. As DTL’s network has broad expertise in data-savvy life science research we feel the need to assist with these efforts.
In order to not duplicate previous work and avoid redundancy we are focusing on the following:
Completing Health-RI’s comprehensive overview over (inter)national COVID-19 data initiatives:
DTL’s close partner and implementation platform Health-RI is currently collecting, bundling and showcasing an overview over (inter-)national data initiatives on its website. We have therefore decided not to create our own list, but to bundle efforts and to help assemble new initiatives and projects in Health-RI’s frequently updated overview. If you are working on a project that isn’t listed in the overview yet, please submit it to Health-RI directly. Data services and tools to facilitate COVID-19 research can also be found on its website.
Highlighting and supporting COVID-19 initiatives from and relevant to our network:
Prominent examples of ongoing COVID-19-specific initiatives (from our broader network) are
- The GO FAIR initiated Virus Outbreak Data Network (VODAN) initiative
- COVID-19 working groups at the Research Data Alliance (RDA) focusing on omics analysis; clinical issues; epidemiology; social sciences and community participation
- ELIXIR’s overview over data resources specific to COVID-19 which address storing data; accessing relevant data; facilitating sharing data; software & workflows to analyse data; computing resources and telling you how to directly contribute to ongoing work
- EMBL-EBI efforts to launch an European COVID-19 Data Platform to help store, share, and analyse research data
- The Data Together COVID-19 Statement of the joint alliance of four major international data organisations: GO FAIR, Committee on Data (CODATA), Research Data Alliance (RDA) and World Data Systems (WDS)
We also like to highlight specific contributions from our own network such as:
- Maastricht UMC+ contributions to open databases such as wikidata coupled to scholia and to wikipathways (more info on github)
- SURF granting accelerated access to the national high performance computing and data infrastructure for COVID-19 research
As we are involved in multiple ongoing projects and are in close collaboration with our partners we can further
- (co)define urgent or upcoming (data) problems,
- (co)identify new initiatives and then
- send out targeted calls for action to our network and the border network we work with to help tackle these challenges
We have for example asked our community of Research Software Engineers (RSE) to participate at the BioHackathon (and distributed this call through our social media channels) and will keep you informed about concrete actions that come up in the near future.
Last but not least we would like to ask you to join any of these initiatives directly (via the links provided) or email us (email@example.com) if you have any questions and remarks or are involved in any initiative not listed here.