2016.2.16 AMED signs Statement on Data Sharing in Public Health Emergencies on February 10, 2016, in response to zika outbreak

It is essential for WHO and any party involved in public health to be able to readily access quality-assured data and evidence from research related to the zika virus. Such access will pave the way to countermeasures to the zika outbreak. Despite long-standing conventions to refrain from disclosing research results to the public until they have been peer-reviewed and published in academic journals, adequate response to outbreaks of infectious diseases such as ebola and zika requires the earliest possible sharing of emerging data and evidence among those concerned. To facilitate response to such crises, the world’s research institutes and academic publishers have issued a statement underscoring a commitment to share information that will further research efforts.

Statement on Data Sharing in Public Health Emergencies:

The arguments for sharing data, and the consequences of not doing so, have been thrown into stark relief by the Ebola and Zika outbreaks.

In the context of a public health emergency of international concern, there is an imperative on all parties to make any information available that might have value in combatting the crisis.

We are committed to working in partnership to ensure that the global response to public health emergencies is informed by the best available research evidence and data, as such:

  • Journal signatories will make all content concerning the Zika virus free to access. Any data or preprint deposited for unrestricted dissemination ahead of submission of any paper will not pre-empt its publication in these journals.
  • Funder signatories will require researchers undertaking work relevant to public health emergencies to set in place mechanisms to share quality-assured interim and final data as rapidly and widely as possible, including with public health and research communities and the World Health Organisation.

We urge other organisations to make the same commitments.

This commitment is in line with the consensus statement agreed at a WHO expert consultation on data sharing last year whereby researchers are expected to share data at the earliest opportunity, once they are adequately controlled for release and subject to any safeguards required to protect research participants and patients.

Signatories to the Statement

  • Academy of Medical Sciences, UK
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
  • The BMJ
  • Bulletin of the World Health Organization
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention
  • The Department of Biotechnology, Government of India
  • The Department for International Development (DFID)
  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
  • eLife
  • The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • F1000
  • Fondation Merieux
  • Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz)
  • The Institut Pasteur
  • Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED)
  • The JAMA Network
  • The Lancet
  • Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders (MSF)
  • National Academy of Medicine
  • National Institutes of Health, USA
  • National Science Foundation, USA
  • The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM)
  • PLOS
  • Science Journals
  • South African Medical Research Council
  • Springer Nature
  • UK Medical Research Council
  • Wellcome Trust
  • ZonMw - The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development


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Last updated 2016.2.16