Intelligent Open Science: Lessons Learned from Genomic Viral Data Sharing During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Intelligent Open Science: Lessons Learned from Genomic Viral Data Sharing During the COVID-19 Pandemic | Research Consulting

We are pleased to announce a new study commissioned by The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on behalf of the G7 Open Science Working Group (OSWG) to explore and assess the lessons learned from genomic viral data sharing during the COVID-19 pandemic. This work will seek to push forward progress on open science following the UK’s G7 Presidency and aim to improve current mechanisms and frameworks to enable and embed open science practices.

Research Consulting and Charles Beagrie have been commissioned to deliver this study, supported by specialists in life sciences Dr Christine Ferguson and Professor Julian Hiscox . This project is expected to run up to 31st March 2022 following the final G7 Science Sherpa Working Group in December 2021.

Why investigate genomic viral data sharing?

This exercise is intended to add depth and precision to the G7 Open Science Working Group’s recommendations on data sharing across borders, and related research practice and cultural issues.

In particular, it will examine the role of data sharing and open science during the pandemic, with a specific focus on genomic viral data and its use in combination with other datasets.

Within this context, the study will seek to identify:

  • what worked well to enable data sharing
  • what were the key barriers encountered that have limited the effective sharing of knowledge or the ability to draw conclusions in a timely way, and
  • what the open and timely data sharing, and associated open science practices, have enabled.

What happens next?

Over the coming months, interviews and focus groups with policymakers, infrastructure providers and researchers in academia, healthcare and industry involved in the sequencing or sharing of genomic viral and data will take place. The findings of these engagements will be combined with a desk-based review to develop a rich and validated evidence base.

This research will be presented to the G7 Open Science Working Group in early 2022. The key aim of this workshop will be to inform the development of implementable recommendations and interventions to improve data sharing in future emergency responses.

A final public report summarising the project’s findings will be published later in 2022.

If you’re interested in finding out more about this project, please get in touch with Lucia Loffreda (Senior Researcher, Research Consulting) or the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy .

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