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RDA COVID-19 Guidelines and Recommendations: 4th release

19 May 2020

The Research Data Alliance (RDA) COVID-19 Working Group published the 4th release of the COVID-19 Data Sharing Recommendations and Guidelines on 15 May 2020.

4th Release Highlights

As of 15 May, there are over 440 members of the CWG, relatively evenly spread across the 7 groups. The first three drafts were released and simultaneously opened for comment  on 24 April, 1 May and 8 May,  indicating huge progress in the space of 5 weeks. This 15 May version marks the release of a newly structured document, that attempts to retain the semantic uniqueness required by each research area, while also harmonising the format for ease of navigation. The fifth and final draft release will carry this integration further, attempting to identify possible elements that are common across most groups. The current timeline will see the 5th (final) release on 28 May, followed by a 10 day period for community feedback. The final endorsed release of Version 1 of the Recommended Guidelines is slated for 30 June.  This effort also reflects the work of a host of other RDA Working Groups, as well as external stakeholder organizations, that has developed over a number of years - RDA wants to recognize and highlight those efforts.

The seven sub-groups have kept up their relentless pace and the main updates in this version, with respect to the 1st three releases, include:

Overarching structural changes throughout the document

  • Sections 1 & 2 - revisions
  • Section 3 - Clinical - General edits and section restructuring in 3.3.1 & 3.3.2
  • Section 4-  Community Participation - no changes after larger restructure
  • Section 5 - Epidemiology - updates to all sections
  • Section 6 - Omics - added section 6.2,  revisions to 6.1, 6.3, 6.4
  • Section 7 - Social Sciences - added sections 7.2, 7.3; updates to 7.4
  • Section 8 - Software - Added to Section 8.2 Scope, Swapped 8.4 and 8.5, general text revisions throughout
  • Section 9 - Legal/Ethical - added sections 9.4.3, 9.4.4, and 9.4.6
  • Section 10 – Additional working documents – new section added
  • Section 11 - New Reference section added; includes references tagged “*CITEDresource” in Zotero library
  • Section 12 - Contributors - new section added

Furthermore, the editorial team have incorporated some of the feedback received via the Requests for Comments (RfC) process and sent directly to Co-chairs, Subgroup moderators and the Editorial team.

You are invited to visit each of the subgroup pages (accessible from the COVID-19 Working Group landing page) to see specific ongoing activities and links to documents and resources.

Timing and Future Releases

The current timeline will produce a new release on Thursday, May 28, followed by a round of community feedback, and a final endorsed release of Version 1 of the Guidelines for June 30.

More information and insights on the plans for those releases, as well as highlights from the sub-groups are given during the informative webinars – see COVID-19 WG Events page for details and to access previous recordings and presentations.

Request for Comments

In the spirit of the RDA community and its open process, your feedback on the content of the releases, the scope, the direction, are vital for all involved to shape and focus the document and the sections to be a useful and meaningful tool.

A request from the editorial team: please indicate the section of the document or the indicator that your comment is about, and, if possible, also include a suggestion for improvement. Many thanks!

DRI is honoured to be be making direct contributions to this effort. Natalie Harrower is a Co-Chair of the RDA COVID-19 Working group, a member of the Editorial team, and a member of the Epidemiology sub-WG. Timea Biro is a moderator for the Community Participation group, which involves supporting each release from the group.

Previous releases are available here

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