Last week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the ongoing coronavirus (coV) outbreak to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. The central reason behind the declaration was to support global coordination, due to the concern for less well-resourced nations, should more cases occur across the globe.
This declaration came just days after the Nuffield Council on Bioethics published a major report on the ethics of research in global health emergencies.
In our report we highlight the importance of open and transparent global collaboration on emergency research, and draw attention to the responsibilities of funders, research institutions and journals in supporting equitable and responsible sharing of data and samples.
Today we are sharing the following announcement from the Global Health Network:
The Global Health Network has launched a pop-up Coronavirus Knowledge Hub. This will make information, data, tools and resources that all networks, organisations and programmes provide more easily discoverable and support generation of evidence to address the many unknowns.
Key features of the Coronavirus Knowledge Hub include a resources dashboard, research findings, news stories, case location map and an Africa CoV area with information, resources and updates provided by African networks and pan-African organisations who work in health research. More areas and resources will follow as events develop.
We also welcome this call from Wellcome to gather support for rapid and open sharing of research data relating to coronavirus. This is an important step that all journals should take to remove barriers to knowledge sharing during such emergencies. We argue in our report that the power that journals exercise in controlling how research results are published and shared must be exercised responsibly. They have an active duty to ensure they do all in their power to remove barriers to knowledge-sharing during emergencies.