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Are you ready to join the data sharing movement?

25 October 2016

Earlier this year, WWARN conducted a survey of researchers who had contributed data to the WWARN platform. The aim was to understand researcher preferences about how your data are accessed and used thereafter. In response to this feedback, WWARN is developing new models of how data can be shared and accessed.  

Data sharing is critical in designing strategies to cope with malaria drug resistance. To reflect the shifting data-sharing landscape, WWARN is supporting data contributors to respond to the data sharing requirements asked by many funders and journals, and to encourage wider collaborations and research opportunities among the many who have contributed data to the WWARN platform.

Over the next few months data contributors will be asked to confirm their preference on the terms under which their data could be shared or accessed. The choices for data sharing will include:

  • No change: contributor permission required for all data use: The data contributor retains full control of data submitted to the WWARN Data Repository. These data will only be accessed and used by third parties with the explicit permission of the data contributor. This is the current model of data access used by WWARN.
  • Data access through an independent Data Access Committee (DAC): The Data Access Committee will provide a process for the malaria research community to request specific data sets archived in the WWARN Data Repository. This newly constituted committee will be responsible for reviewing short applications describing what data sets are requested, how the data will be used and how the original contributors will be credited.  If the DAC review is successful, and you have chosen this option, the DAC could then allow the data to be released.
  • Open access data: If this option is chosen, third parties will have unrestricted access to selected variables linked to a publication or a full data sets as agreed by the data contributors. Data will not be standardised. Permission from the data contributor or Data Access Committee will not be necessary.

“We want to make data-sharing both equitable and useful for the entire research community and we need to work in partnership to make this possible.” says Prof Philippe Guérin, WWARN & IDDO Director. “We expect that these new data-sharing options will facilitate meeting some of the new data sharing requirements, including long term accessibility of data, now mandated by many funders and scientific journals, and accelerate the pace of research on diseases prevalent in low and middle income countries.”

TDR, the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, will lead the formation of the independent Data Access Committee (DAC) chaired by Prof Piero Olliaro.  You are invited to nominate members of the DAC. Nominees will need to have significant experience in malaria clinical trials, statistics, public health community engagement, ethics or patient advocacy. Nominations for the committee should reflect the wide diversity of colleagues working within the malaria and global health research community. Read more on the new Data access and DAC opportunities.

 “Sharing data requires an ethical and responsible approach to ensure that patient confidentiality is maintained, that the questions addressed are scientifically sound, that results are shared with the community, and that data contributors are appropriately credited. We hope to achieve this balance through the Data Access Committee” says Prof Piero Olliaro, Head of Intervention and Implementation Research at TDR.

Send your nomination for a colleague whom you would like to represent you and your work on the WWARN Data Access Committee to malariaDAC [at] iddo [dot] org. Nominations should include the name, institution and email address of the nominee.  A brief description of their suitability for the committee would also be appreciated. Self-nomination and nomination of WWARN data contributors is welcomed.  Nominations received on or before November 20th will be considered in this initial round.

We hope that the wider malaria research community will participate in this nomination.  Please contact info [at] wwarn [dot] org if you would like more information about the WWARN malaria DAC.