Nav: Home

Sharing of research data and findings should be the norm in public health emergencies

January 05, 2016

Opting in to data sharing should be the default practice during public health emergencies, such as the recent Ebola epidemic, and barriers to sharing data and findings should be removed to ensure those responding to the emergency have the best available evidence at hand according to Vasee Moorthy and colleagues from the World Health Organization (WHO) in a Policy Forum article published in PLOS Medicine.

In their article the authors outline the findings of a recent WHO-organized consultation that was attended by leading representatives from the scientific community, biomedical journals, industry, funding organizations, and government ministries. Meeting participants collectively identified several key obstacles to sharing research data and findings in times of acute public health need. These included the misperception that disclosure of major findings may negatively prejudice subsequent journal publication; limitations in technical capacity to share information; concerns that data would be analysed and published without due recognition; and the possibility that data sharing could lead to the development of products that source populations are unable to afford.

During the meeting representatives from leading biomedical journals responded with an unequivocal assertion that public disclosure of information of relevance to public health emergencies should not prejudice journal publication of full scientific reports. Meeting participants also recognized that it is not enough for parties to simply agree, in principle, on sharing primary data, as the world must also commit to tackling the technical challenges of implementing data sharing agreements by simplifying and standardizing data capture procedures, assuring data quality, and harmonizing disparate data platforms. How best to effect a shift away from the culture of data ownership toward one of data stewardship remains paramount among broader issues to be addressed.

The authors conclude, "[a]s the quick and transparent dissemination of information is the bedrock of good science and public health practice, it is important that the current trends in data sharing carry over to all matters of acute public health need. Such a global norm would advance the spirit of open collaboration, simplify current mechanisms of information sharing, and potentially save many lives in subsequent outbreaks."

In an accompanying Perspective article Patrick Vallance and colleagues from GlaxoSmithKline note, "[w]e are perpetually in the midst of several health care crises, including those of neglected tropical diseases and other chronic diseases, for which data sharing has the potential to lead to faster and better solutions. As a matter of principle, we should be willing to share data without regards to which disease is being studied."
-end-
FROM THE PLOS MEDICINE MAGAZINE:

Vasee Moorthy and colleagues

Funding: The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. The Wellcome Trust contributed towards the cost of the consultation.

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Citation: Modjarrad K, Moorthy VS, Millett P, Gsell PS, Roth C, Kieny M-P (2016) Developing Global Norms for Sharing Data and Results during Public Health Emergencies. PLoS Med 13(1): e1001935.doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001935

Author Affiliations:

World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

IN YOUR COVERAGE PLEASE USE THIS URL TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO THE FREELY AVAILABLE PAPER:

http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.1001935

Contact:

Vasee Moorthy
moorthyv@who.in
World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

Patrick Vallance and colleagues

Funding: There was no specific funding to support this work.

Competing Interests: We have read the journal's policy and have the following conflicts: PV is a President at GlaxoSmithKline and holds stock or stock options in GlaxoSmithKline. AF is Head of Medical Policy at GlaxoSmithKline and holds stock or stock options in GlaxoSmithKline. MS is Chief Medical Officer at GlaxoSmithKline and holds stock or stock options in GlaxoSmithKline. PV is a member of the Editorial Board of PLOS Medicine.

Citation: Vallance P, Freeman A, Stewart M (2016) Data Sharing as Part of the Normal Scientific Process: A View from the Pharmaceutical Industry. PLoS Med 13(1): e1001936. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001936

Author Affiliations:

GlaxoSmithKline, Brentford, Middlesex, United Kingdom;

GlaxoSmithKline, Collegeville, Pennsylvania, United States of America

IN YOUR COVERAGE PLEASE USE THIS URL TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO THE FREELY AVAILABLE PAPER:

http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.1001936

Contact:

Patrick Vallance
patrick.5.vallance@gsk.com
GlaxoSmithKline, United Kingdom,

PLOS

Related Lead Articles:

Poor diet can lead to blindness
An extreme case of 'fussy' or 'picky' eating caused a young patient's blindness, according to a new case report published today [2 Sep 2019] in Annals of Internal Medicine.
What's more powerful, word-of-mouth or following someone else's lead?
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, UCLA and the University of Texas published new research in the INFORMS journal Marketing Science, that reveals the power of word-of-mouth in social learning, even when compared to the power of following the example of someone we trust or admire.
UTI discovery may lead to new treatments
Sufferers of recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs) could expect more effective treatments thanks to University of Queensland-led research.
Increasing frailty may lead to death
A new study published in Age and Ageing indicates that frail patients in any age group are more likely to die than those who are not frail.
Discovery could lead to munitions that go further, much faster
Researchers from the U.S. Army and top universities discovered a new way to get more energy out of energetic materials containing aluminum, common in battlefield systems, by igniting aluminum micron powders coated with graphene oxide.
More Lead News and Lead Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...